The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, February 1st 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Candied Pecans are simple, flavorful and perfect for snacking!
I’ve loved pecans for as long as I can remember. The earliest memory I can recall is my Grandma Barbra buying me a small bag of pecans at the old New Castle “Becker Brothers” grocery store. I loved them from my first taste. They add so much flavor to chocolate fudge, blondie brownies, on top of sweet potatoes and in spicy chili pecan soup. Yes, soup! It’s made with chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, onion, garlic, tomato – and topped with pecans. (A little hot for my taste, but good with a little sour cream and still in my recipe development process). It wasn’t until about three years ago though, that I started tinkering around with the process of actually candying the pecans. Want to make pecans better? Candy them with white and brown sugars and cook them in a low and slow oven – they’re incredible! These are not only delicious and easy; they will make your house smell better than any candle ever could!
Did you know that pecans are an excellent source of Vitamin E? Did you know they are a good source of energy? Pecans are also rich sources of several B-complex vitamins and great providers of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc! They really are a “miracle” nut – so don’t feel guilty when you’re snacking on your third or fourth handful. Don’t get me wrong – this is not a “diet recipe”, but pecans are more beneficial than eating a candy bar. And these candied pecans really add a flavorful crunch on top of your salad too. Sprinkle a few on top of your grilled chicken salad with orange dressing – how delicious does that sound? You’ll be amazed at how easy these are to make! Even if you’re a novice in the kitchen – try this recipe! It’s foolproof…
This recipe really is foolproof. Just follow the directions and you’ll get perfectly candied pecans every time. Store these in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. They are delicious sprinkled on top of salads, desserts or even main courses like soups, chicken dishes, etc. These are also a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day! Wrap them in little Valentine’s bags and tie with a red or pink ribbon. Be creative and have fun with different flavor combinations! Creativity and having fun are two important things when entering the kitchen. Leave your reservations at the door and enter with an open mind and have fun!
½ cup granulated white sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups pecan halves
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Splash of water
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 13×9-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium sized bowl mix together the granulated white sugar, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon and salt.
In a larger bowl, whisk together the egg white, vanilla extract and splash of water until combined and frothy. Once combined, add in the pecans and toss until evenly coated with the egg white mixture.
Next, add the sugar mixture to the pecans and stir gently until all pecans are evenly coated with the mixture.
Pour the pecans onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread out evenly.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Once completely baked and candied, remove the pecans and allow to cool slightly before serving.