May 29, 2010

Candied Espresso Pecans

On a whim one night not long ago, Mark and I invited some friends over for dinner. After the four of us finished off some homemade chips and slurped down the last of our tortilla soup, I realized I hadn't thought at all about dessert. While we were sitting at the table finishing some Pacificos, I flipped through my hodge podge recipe books--scraps I've cut out and collected from anywhere and everywhere. I was hoping to find something I could whip together quickly with ingredients I had on hand. Apparently most of the recipes I cut out are a little bit more on the elaborate side: almond-macaroon torte with chocolate frosting and orange compote, milk chocolate souffles with nougat whip, roasted pear tarte tatin with brown sugar-balsamic swirl ice cream (?!). Not going to happen.

I started with the most recent recipes and began flipping back to the beginning. Just before I gave up, I found a recipe for candied espresso walnuts. I had enough on hand to make it work---well, I subbed the pecans for the walnuts, obviously, but pecans are way better than walnuts anyway. That night I cut the recipe from 4 cups to 1 cup and made a few other adjustments. I threw this together in a grand total of about 15 minutes. One of our guests didn't even realize that I'd made them!

Candied Pecans
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 packets of Starbucks VIA (or about 1 heaping tablespoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray the sheet with non-stick spray).
  2. In a small bowl, whisk sugar, VIA, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, whisk egg white until frothy. Add pecans to egg whites and toss to coat. Sprinkle VIA mixture over pecans and toss to coat.
  3. Spread coated pecans on prepared sheet in a single layer. Bake 5 minutes. Use a spatula to stir the pecans, rearranging them in single layer. Bake for about 5 minutes more, or until pecans are dry to the touch.
  4. Loosen pecans from the baking sheet. Cool on sheet, then enjoy!

Can be made up to 2 weeks ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. 
Makes 2 cups.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment!