The adjective "spiced" doesn't do these pecans justice. A mix of sweet, citrus-y, salty, peppery, and aromatic, the flavor that coats every cranny of these pecans perfectly enhances the almost gooey but also crunchy texture. The cozy combo of spices is redolent of Winter and makes a delicious holiday snack for a party spread or just around the house.

These spiced pecans also make an easy but impressive edible gift: cook them up in batches on the stove, then package them in cute cellophane baggies tied with a bow. Get the recipe after the break.

Spiced Pecans

Spiced Pecans

Spiced Pecans Recipe From Alton Brown

Ingredients

1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried ground orange peel
1 pound pecan halves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons water

Directions

I couldn't find dried orange peel at the store, so I simply shaved some peel off of an orange, dried it out in the oven, and then ground it up with a mortar and pestle. Delicious!

  1. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Mix the salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and orange peel together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the nuts in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes until they just start to brown and smell toasted. Add the butter and stir until it melts. Add the spice mixture and stir to combine. Once combined, add both sugars and water, stirring until the mixture thickens and coats the nuts, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet pan and separate them with a fork or spatula. Allow the nuts to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage. Can be stored up to 3 weeks.

Makes 1 pound.