Spiced Pecans

When I was a young cook at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, I used to eat a variation of these pecans by the handful to sustain me over a long workday. Unlike many pecan recipes of this type, these aren’t overly sugary and they have a little burst of cumin and cayenne to intrigue your taste buds. Be careful, though: Once you start eating them, it is very difficult to stop.
By / Photography By Matthew Noel | December 15, 2014


Preheat oven to 325°F.

Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large, heavybottomed skilled. Add the sugar and spices and stir to dissolve. When the mixture is cool enough, stir in the egg whites. It may help to temper the egg whites by adding a small amount of the cooled mixture to them first. Add the pecans to the mixture and stir until they are evenly coated.

Divide the pecans between two nonstick baking sheets and toast them in the oven. Stir the pecans a few times during cooking, about 3 or 4 times over 20 minutes, to prevent burning. When the pecans are golden brown and the mixture sticks to them, remove them from the oven to cool.

These are as good served with cocktails as they are tossed into a shaved Brussels sprout salad with apples and clouds of thinly shaved Parmesan.

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  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 (12-ounce) package shelled Louisiana
  • pecan halves
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