Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cinnamon and Sugar Pecans

One of my best new recipe finds of 2010 happened right at the end of the year when I found a recipe for Candied Cinnamon and Sugar Nuts on My Kitchen Cafe.

The key to these is to wait until they are really dry before you eat them. On my first batch, BD and I sampled them right after they came out of the oven and were not impressed. Later in the afternoon he tried another one and said they were much better. (That's probably why the recipe says specifically "Cool completely before serving" -- whoops!)

I made a big batch of them to take in the car with us on our trip to Louisiana for Christmas. They are not too messy for the car, but they do make your fingers sticky.

The recipe calls for almonds. I used pecans instead, and I'm sure any nut would work.

not pretty in this picture, but DELICIOUS

1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups unsalted almonds
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large (11X17-inch) rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Add the water and vanilla and beat again until stiff. Add the almonds to the mixture and stir gently to coat the almonds with the egg white mixture.

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add this mixture to the almonds and stir gently to mix well. Pour the almonds out onto the prepared baking sheet and carefully spread them out into a somewhat even layer.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about an hour, stirring/flipping every 15 minutes, until the almonds look and feel dry. To check to see if the almonds were done, I carefully picked one up in my fingers and when I pressed around it, I didn’t get any wet sugar on my hands. The coating on the almond felt hard and crunchy.

Cool completely before serving or packaging.

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