I first tried these Spiced Pecans when my mom made them a few years ago. She got the recipe from our favorite cookbook: America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. My family swears by the America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks and recipes — they’re foolproof! In fact, if you’re looking for a good holiday gift for the foodie or cook in your life, I highly recommend their Family Cookbook or New Best Recipe Cookbook. I’ve used both extensively over the last six years and honestly love every recipe!
For these Spiced Pecans, I used the original ATK recipe as inspiration and made a few tweaks to make them a bit healthier. Most importantly, I used unrefined coconut sugar in place of refined white sugar. As a reminder, refined sugar has no nutritional value and is very processed (think regular old white sugar you put in coffee), while unrefined sugar retains much more of sugar’s natural nutrients such as calcium and iron. I love baking with coconut sugar because it’s unrefined and it tastes just like regular ol’ sugar. You can find coconut sugar in most grocery stores, and usually you can get it inexpensively from places like Costco or Amazon. These pecans work best with superfine sugar, so I’d recommend pulsing the coconut sugar in the food processor for 10-15 seconds until it becomes fine.
These Spiced Pecans scream holiday season to me! They’re an easy snack to munch on at a holiday event with a festive drink in your other hand. I also think they’d be a fun holiday gift to give to neighbors or coworkers. Just place about one heaping cup of spiced pecan halves in a clear treat bag (like these) and tie it up with a colorful ribbon.
But honestly, I won’t blame you if you save them all for yourself. One pound of pecans may seem like a lot, but you’ll be shocked by how quickly they go! In case you’re a bargain hunter like I am, I recommend buying a two pound bag of pecan halves from Costco for this recipe. Nuts can be expensive, but Costco always has them for reasonable prices (and FYI — they’re less expensive in store than they are online.)
Happy holiday season to you and your family!
These Spiced Pecans are a delicious holiday snack or gift. Put some in a baggie and tie it up with ribbon. They're Gluten-Free and Refined Sugar-Free.
- 1 egg white
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound pecan halves, raw and unsalted
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika (regular, not smoked)
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white, water, and salt. Add the pecans and toss in the egg white mixture to coat. Drain the nuts in a colander for five minutes and wipe out the bowl with a paper towel. Return the nuts to the large bowl.
Place the coconut sugar in a mini blender and blend for 10-15 seconds, until the sugar is very fine. Mix the blended coconut sugar in a small bowl with the cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Add the spice mixture to the large bowl with the nuts and toss to coat thoroughly. Spread the nuts onto the parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 50 minutes, stirring the nuts and rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the nuts to cool completely on the baking sheet, 20-25 minutes. Break apart and store in an airtight container.
*Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen.
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