Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Spiced Pecans Ready for the Holidays

December? Already? How is it that 2010 is almost over? But before it ends, we have a few weeks of holiday cheer and parties and celebrating and possibly some headaches or family feuds. The holidays are a great time to get together with family and friends, enjoying good food and drink together. But it can also be overwhelming. I love most things about the holidays except for the incessant Christmas music that seems to start earlier and earlier each year. I often feel like I'm not doing enough for the holidays since I don't have a Christmas tree by Thanksgiving or holiday decorations adorning every corner of my home. But rather than get bogged down by all that I'm not doing for the holiday season, I would rather take advantage of the aspects I do love about the holidays. My favorite thing about the holidays is everyone's desire to get together and celebrate. It doesn't really matter what you're celebrating - Christmas, Hannakuh, New Years, cold weather, time off from work - as long as it means getting together with friends over good food and celebratory beverages.

The approaching holiday season puts (most) people into a festive mood, making it the perfect time to host a casual get-together. If you have some friends who get extra grouchy during the holidays (and we all do), maybe an informal affair will be the perfect thing to cheer them up. A lot of people feel the need to go all out for the holidays, with elaborate spreads of food and holiday decor. But none of this is necessary when you have a group of close friends. All you need are some simple snacks and a few bottles of wine (or any beverage of your liking). Cheese and crackers always work well as do a bowl full of these spiced nuts. They are super easy to make but taste amazing and are perfect to have whenever you have friends over for a festive snack. You could also toss these nuts into a salad for a spicy crunch. Make a big batch and keep them in an airtight container so they're ready for any holiday event. If you're not a fan of pecans, try this same recipe with walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts; any nut would work or a combination of several.

Spiced Pecans
  • 2 cups raw pecans
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
In a large bowl, lightly whisk egg white.
Whisk in honey to combine.
Stir in pecans until thoroughly coated.
Toss in chili powder, cinnamon, salt and cayenne. Mix to combine.
Spread pecans onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake in a 300˚F oven for about 25 minutes, until pecans are brown.
Let cool before serving or storing in an airtight container.

For a printable recipe click here
Recipe adapted from Elana's Pantry

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