Spiced Pecans

Appetizers, Gluten-Free, Southern / Friday, January 30th, 2009


These Spiced Pecans look naked, don’t they? It makes it so much more fun when someone grabs a big handful, because these babies are spicy.

Sure, when you first pop them into your mouth, you only taste the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. But then the heat kicks you right in the back of the throat, like Chuck Norris but with more mercy.

Making spiced nuts is fun, because you can customize the spice mix. This sweet-n-spicy Lee Brothers’ recipe has one ingredient you don’t usually see in spiced nuts: cumin. But if you don’t like cumin, or if you want to dial down the spice in general, substitute the cumin and cayenne with an equal amount of a spice you like. Or take out the savory spices and replace them with more sugar. Or send the sweeter spices back to the rack and replace them with Cajun spice mix. Aiyeeee!

The spices are most intense the first day, so if you don’t want to cough involuntarily during snacking, make these pecans a day in advance. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, use the pre-roasted spicy pecans to take your caramel corn to the next level. Jacked-up cracker jack? Oh, yesss.

Spiced Pecans

Adapted from Matt Lee and Ted Lee’s “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook”

Makes 3 cups

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey, sorghum or cane syrup
  • 3 cups shelled raw pecan halves (about 3/4 pound)
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the spices, salt and sugar. Set aside 1 teaspoon of the mixture.
  3. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter slowly. After the foam subsides, turn off the heat and skim the white milk solids from the butter. Whisk the spice mixture into the butter in a slow stream. Then whisk in the honey.
  4. Put the pecans in a medium mixing bowl, and pour the warm spiced syrup mixture over them. Toss the mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  5. Spread the pecans evenly on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake on the top rack for 45 minutes. The syrup should look dry, and the pecans will have darkened to the color of mahogany. Remove the sheet from the oven and sprinkle the reserved 1 teaspoon spice mixture over the pecans.
  6. Serve the nuts as soon as they have cooled, or store them. Roasted pecans will keep 2 weeks in an airtight container.

Nutritional Information (per 2-tablespoon serving) – calories: 116, fat: 12g, carbs: 3g, fiber 1g, protein: 1g, PP+ = 3

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11 thoughts on “Spiced Pecans

  1. Beautiful! Hi Rebecca! I just wanted to let you know that on Sunday morning I am starting a new weekly posting (Sunday Shout Outs) where I blog about some of my favorite posts from other bloggers. This week your Skillet Lasagna made my list. Thanks for posting such great stuff!

  2. I love the title of this post. It reaffirms why I love reading these foodie blogs. You guys are so intertaining and can easily make me laugh out loud. :-)

    Hey, have you read this list of little known facts about Chuck Norris? It’s long but well worth the read.

    *Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.

    *Chuck Norris sold his soul to the devil for his rugged good looks and unparalleled martial arts ability. Shortly after the transaction was finalized, Chuck roundhouse kicked the devil in the face and took his soul back. The devil, who appreciates irony, couldn’t stay mad and admitted he should have seen it coming. They now play poker every second Wednesday of the month.

    *Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

    *Chuck Norris built a time machine and went back in time to stop the JFK assassination. As Oswald shot, Chuck met all three bullets with his beard, deflecting them. JFK’s head exploded out of sheer amazement.

    *Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

    *Everytime Chuck Norris roundhouse kicks someone an angel gets its wings. But Chuck Norris hates angels. So everytime an angel gets its wings it also gets a roundhouse kick from Chuck Norris.

    *Chuck Norris always has the right of way.

    *Filming on location for Walker: Texas Ranger, Chuck Norris brought a stillborn baby lamb back to life by giving it a prolonged beard rub. Shortly after the farm animal sprang back to life and a crowd had gathered, Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked the animal, breaking its neck, to remind the crew once more that Chuck giveth, and he taketh away.

    *The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.

    *If you can see Chuck Norris, he can see you. If you can’t see Chuck Norris you may be only seconds away from death.

    *Chuck Norris doesn’t read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

    *Chuck Norris died ten years ago, but the Grim Reaper can’t get up the courage to tell him.

    *Chuck Norris can mathematically make two wrongs equal a right.

    *The quickest way to a man’s heart is with Chuck Norris’s fist.

    *After much debate, President Truman decided to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima rather than the alternative of sending Chuck Norris. His reasoning? It was more “humane”.

    *Chuck Norris once bet NASA he could survive re-entry without a spacesuit. On July 19th, 1999, a naked Chuck Norris re-entered the earth’s atmosphere, streaking over 14 states and reaching a temperature of 3000 degrees. An embarrassed NASA publically claimed it was a meteor, and still owes him a beer.

    *Chuck Norris knows what Willis was talkin’ about.

    *Chuck Norris appeared in the “Street Fighter II” video game, but was removed by Beta Testers because every button caused him to do a roundhouse kick. When asked bout this “glitch,” Norris replied, “That’s no glitch.”

    *Chuck Norris’ calendar goes straight from March 31st to April 2nd; no one fools Chuck Norris.

    *Similar to a Russian Nesting Doll, if you were to break Chuck Norris open you would find another Chuck Norris inside, only smaller and angrier.

    :-) Yeah!

  3. Hi Rebecca,
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen spiced pecans look so good!!! This recipe is very similar to one that I make for gifts at Christmas, but there is something a little different. It may be the paprika. These look awesome and I will definitely bookmark so I can make these in the future.

  4. I love how you tie together spiced pecans and Chuck Norris so effortlessly. You are the master, my friend. These look fabulous! I might try to make them for tomorrow — you know, to jazz things up a little for all of the people who don’t really care about the game.

  5. Jayhawk Girl: That’s awesome! Thanks for the shout-out.

    Twin: I need to try the recipe with egg whites. Good for the immune system.

    laura: Gawd, I love these. I gave my BIL a book of Chuck Norris facts for Christmas.

    Kaytie: So true! They contain all four food groups: sugar, salt, fat and crunch.

    LilSis: Thanks! Now I’m wondering about your secret ingredient …

    Cathy: The secret is HAVING NO SHAME.

    dawn: Thank you, my sister. Testify!

    Maria: Definitely a change from the sugary ones at the mall. Although they are really freaking good.

    My First Kitchen: Amen to that.

    The Duo Dishes: Long live the spicy/sweet. It’s never boring.

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