Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sugar-Coated Spiced Pecans

When these nuts are baking in the oven, your house will be the best smelling place in your neighborhood.  The aromatic cinnamon and vanilla aromas take you to the European Christkindlmarkts where street vendors sell these warm sugar-coated nuts in cone-shaped bags to shoppers bundled to stay warm in the crisp wintery temperatures.

Start with fresh pecan halves.  You can also use almonds and walnuts or mixted nuts. Fresher nuts have more flavor. 
Mix together sugar, salt and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.

Beat egg whites with water until frothy.  Cold eggs, right out of the refrigerator, are easier to separate than room temperature eggs.

Add pecans to the egg whites and mix well.

Fold the egg white coated pecans in with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Stir well to coat.

Spread pecans onto greased pan in a single layer and bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Sugar-Coated Spiced Pecans

1 cup granulated sugar
3/4  tsp. salt
1 tsp.  ground cinnamon
2  egg whites, large
1 1/2 tsp. water
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1  lb. pecan halves

Lightly grease a large cookie sheet and preheat oven to 250 º F. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, salt and cinnamon.  In a separate bowl, whip together egg whites and water until frothy.  Add pecans to the egg whites and stir to coat nuts evenly.  Remove the nuts and toss them into the sugar mixture; stir well to coat. 

Spread nuts in a single layer onto prepared pan.  Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and when cool, store in an airtight container.

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