Sugar 'n' Spice Pecans (or Walnuts)
1-1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp white corn syrup
3-4 Tbsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg, ginger, allspice or whatever suits your fancy
2 c. pecans
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Cook sugar, water, salt, spice and syrup to 236 on candy thermometer.
Remove from heat. Add vanilla extract and pecans, stirring until creamy (or cloudy or clotted).
Pour onto double sheet of foil (or foil on top of a segment of newspaper). Separate nuts into singles or bite-size pieces. Cool completely (1-2 hrs.) and store in air-tight containers (canning jars are great -- simple, inexpensive, and re-cycle-abe).
Makes great holiday gifts.
1. Walnuts work as well as pecans
2. Use spices that suit your taste. If it smells good, odds are it'll taste good.
3. Substitute 4-6 Tbsp. cocoa plus cinnamon for Cocoa-Nuts
4. Try cinnamon, chocolate or maple extract instead of vanilla. If you're adventurous, you might like lemon or orange extract with a bit of lemon or orange peel, cresh or dried. Vary the spices to better suit whatever extract you use.
Jars are easy to dress up or slip into an inexpensive Christmas stocking.
The basic recipe for sugared pecans came from New Orleans. After getting a little bored with making "the same ol' thing" I started playing around with spices and flavors. It works equally well with walnuts.
Pairs Well With
This was a favorite Christmas gift for several friends/co-workers. 1 qt. = 1 lb. Comparable commercial products cost about $25+, a whole lot more than the raw materials and less than 1/2 hr. of labor.
Hope you enjoy 'em!