These nuts are amazing. (Have at it with the nut jokes.) They are perfectly light and airy, sweet and spicy. The little hint of cayenne really is the highlight for me. They bring subtle flavor explosions to your mouth, however, they aren't overpowering or palate-killers. They are delicious on their own, but they really shine when paired with feta cheese, dried figs, mixed greens, and a light oil and balsamic dressing. I've topped salads in all seasons with these little gems.
What I also love is that these nuts take absolutely no time and effort to make. I stock-pile so that I have an ample supply to rely on for months, literally. Also, because they are coated with egg whites and baked, they aren't gooey, globby, and sticky! I have a thing about sticky foods, particularly when at a party or get together because of the obvious mess they make. I won't eat Cheetos, wings, or other notoriously messy things, not because they are unhealthy, but because they essentially require a shower afterwards. The only finger-messin' food I will never turn down is Alaskan king crab. That would just be a sin. OK, enough from that tangent...
Make these nuts. Your friends will be incredibly impressed with how hard you slaved away to make them perfectly nutty, spicy, sweet, light, and tasty. (Hahaha, joke's on them.) I plan on making a batch this afternoon to add to trail mix for our weekend camping adventure.
Closely adapted from this recipe.
- 1/3 cup of light-brown sugar
- 2/3 cup of white sugar (the normal stuff)
- 1 barely heaping teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your taste preference)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pound of pecan halves
- 1 egg white at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon of water
- Preheat your oven to 300° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix all of the sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon together, making sure there are no clumps.
- In a larger-sized mixing bowl, beat the egg white and water until frothy and bubbly.
- Add the pecans and stir to completely coat.
- While stirring, add in the sugar and spice mixture. Toss/stir until evenly coated.
- Spread the nuts onto the lined baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until you can smell the nuts, they have begun to brown, and the egg mixture is cooked. Stir occasionally.
- Stir them again when you pull them out of the oven.
- Once completely cooled, break apart again if needed, then store in an air-tight container.
- Serve on their own, on top of salads, in trail mix, as a granola topper, and more!