FFwD: Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts – Sugared Pecans

by Holly on December 31, 2010

One of the recipes from Around My French Table chosen for this month’s French Fridays with Dorie was for Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts – a mixture of nuts, tossed in egg white and a combination of sugar and spices.  I only had pecans around the house, but wanted to try the recipe because I’ve never seen or heard of tossing them in egg white first.  My favorite way to make candied pecans up till now – which is a bit of a process and a bit of a mess, but oh so good – is to boil them, then let them dry a bit, then toss them in powdered sugar, and then they are deep fried, then allowed to cool (a method we used long ago from the Sky High cakes book for The Cake Slice Bakers).  While they are crazy good that way, as you can imagine, they are definitely a treat and not anything I feel good about snacking on.  That is why Dorie’s method seemed like an interesting and worthwhile alternative.
That said, you know I never leave well enough alone, and since the only cocktails involved around our house involve juice boxes, I bagged the spices in our version.  I used the same amount of sugar called for, then just upped the amount of cinnamon and added a small splash of vanilla.  I have to admit, I’m sure the nuts would have looked nicer had I followed Dorie’s directions to remove them from the egg whites individually to get rid of the excess.  Let’s face it though.  With three small kids around, there was no time for that.  I tossed, mixed, stirred, dumped and baked.  I did give them a stir in the oven about half way through to help break up all the extra sugar and egg white I dumped in there with them, which was bubbling a bit more than I expected, but didn’t seem to do any harm.  So, bottom line, when my pecans were all done they were just a bit clumpier and not as pretty, but they still tasted really good!  
This recipe and method is a definite keeper – we love tossed candied nuts in our salads and this ended up being a lot less messy and not as labor intensive (at least when done the lazy way like me!).
Happy New Year everyone!  Visit the French Fridays with Dorie site to see all the links to this month’s recipes under the LYL posts.  I hope you all had a wonderful 2010 – now on to 2011!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

chocolatechic December 31, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I didn't scrape off excess egg white either, and while they might have looked better, I liked the little bits of yummies that it made.

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gaaarp December 31, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I'd like to think I was among the first no-scrape rebels, and reading others' posts, it seemed like most people followed suit. To be honest, I don't think it would have made that much of a difference in the final product.

Nice write up. And nice job on the nuts. I admire you for getting so much done with all you have going on.

Happy new year!

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Steph December 31, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I think your nuts look perfect, even with the little "extra!" I love the idea of adding a bit of vanilla. Happy New Year!

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Joanne December 31, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Super spiced up is definitely the way to go! Always! These sound delicious!

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Candy December 31, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Your nuts look great, and I agree, I liked the extra bits (I'm WAY too lazy to pick out nuts one at a time).

Glad you had fun with these – I ended up making several batches, with some variations – have to take something to munch on to a gathering tonight… maybe some nuts!!!

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scrambledhenfruit December 31, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I think they look delicious! I made these way early and sent them off without a photo. I just added extra nuts to take care of the excess egg white. 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful new year!

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steph- whisk/spoon December 31, 2010 at 7:57 pm

sugared pecans–yum! they would be great in salad. hope you have a very happy new year!

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Frolicking Night Owl January 1, 2011 at 6:58 am

Glad I came across your post. I was considering trying something similar and just making the nuts sweet. nice job!

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semorrell January 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm

where is the recipe?

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aplatefulofhappiness January 2, 2011 at 1:57 am

Nice job with the nuts. I made these twice. Once I did the one-by-one thing, but did NOT think it was worth it. I made them again and just dumped them like you did. No noticable different to me. Happy New Year.

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Cher January 2, 2011 at 10:56 pm

That's the great thing about these nuts – so much room for customization!

Happy New Year.

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onewetfoot January 3, 2011 at 7:23 am

Wow. Your first method sounds very labour-intensive! Your cinnamon-vanilla version of Dorie's recipe sounds delicious.

Happy New Year!

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