These make fantastic host/hostess gifts (see photo below), as well as a simple snack or holiday appetizer.
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- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2-3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on your heat preference)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried ground orange peel
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 pound pecan halves
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pats
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar (light or dark...it's up to you. I prefer dark.)
- 3 tablespoons water
- Line a clean counter with a piece of parchment paper or foil at least 20 inches long. (In a pinch, you can use heavy duty aluminum foil.)
- Mix the cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, smoked paprika and orange peel together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place the nuts in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a large wooden spoon or spatula for 4 to 5 minutes or until the pecans begin to brown release their roast aroma.
- Stir in the spices until just fragrant (15-30 seconds) then add the butter pats and stir to melt. Follow that with the sugar. When thoroughly mixed add the water. Stir 2 to 3 minutes or until the sugar has completely and the nuts look glazed. Sprinkle over with the kosher salt and remove from heat.
- Spread the nuts evenly onto the parchment or foil so that they don't dry in clumps. Cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage.
- Although the nuts can be stored at room temp for up to three weeks or frozen (tightly wrapped) for up three months, odds are good they won't last more than a day or two.
- *This is a newly modified version of the version that's been online for a couple of years. The changes may seem small, but they make a big difference.
ALTON BROWN http://altonbrown.com/