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Course: Sweets
Keyword: Christmas, Fall, Hacks, Holidays, Snacks, Spicy Pecans, Thanksgiving

Spiced Pecans

Alton Brown's spicy pecans in a glass jar and a white ramekin.
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 18 minutes
Yield: 1 pound
These brown sugar-glazed pecans tossed in a sweet and spicy coating make fantastic host/hostess gifts, as well as a simple snack or holiday appetizer.
Although the nuts can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 weeks or frozen (tightly wrapped) for up 3 months, odds are good these pecans won’t last more than a day or two.
This recipe first appeared on altonbrown.com.
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  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground orange peel
  • 1 pound pecan halves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pats
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

Specialized Hardware

  • 10-inch cast-iron skillet
Alton Brown's spicy pecans in a glass jar and a white ramekin.
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 18 minutes
Yield: 1 pound

Procedure

  • Line a half sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper or foil.
  • Mix the salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, 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 until the pecans begin to brown and smell toasted, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the spices until just fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds, then add the butter pats and stir to melt. Add the sugars and mix thoroughly before adding the water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved completely and the nuts look glazed, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Spread the nuts onto the prepared sheet pan and separate with a spatula so that they don't dry in clumps. Cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage.
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