Rum-Glazed Spiced Pecans

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So you’re throwing a 4th of July BBQ and you want some small munchies for guests to nibble on instead of the typical celery and carrot sticks with onion dip.  These pecans are your answer!  They’re supremely easy to quickly toss together, so they won’t add any extra stress to your party day planning.  I was annoyed that I had to go out and buy a whole bottle of dark rum just for the recipe’s 1 tablespoon, but I’m glad for it now because I make this recipe quite frequently and I warn you, you’ll experience the same: once you put these out, they won’t last long, so make a double batch.

Rum-Glazed Spiced Pecans
improved upon from Cooks Illustrated
Makes 2 cups

  • 2 cups raw pecan halves (8 ounces) (at my grocery store this means a 1 1/2 cup bag plus a tiny 1/2 cup bag, which never fails to annoy me, esp since the tiny bag’s nuts are always pulverized instead of the “pecan halves” advertised)
  • Spice Mix
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rosemary, ground so that needles are in small pieces
  • Rum Glaze
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread pecans in even layer.  Toast 3 minutes, shake pan to redistribute nuts, and continue to toast until fragrant and color deepens slightly, about 3 minutes longer.   I personally prefer slightly less toasted pecans, but you can toast them to your heart’s desire, of course.  Transfer cookie sheet with nuts to wire rack.
  2. For the spice mix: While nuts are toasting, stir together sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and rosemary in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. For the glaze: Bring rum, vanilla, brown sugar, and butter to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking constantly–I am serious about the MEDIUM sized saucepan: the first few times I made this recipe I always decided, “well, it’s just a small amount of ingredients, I’ll use a small saucepan” and then I get to the next step and have to transfer the mixture to a bigger pot, cursing myself for forgetting AGAIN to follow instructions as written.
  4. Pour in the toasted pecans, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until nuts are shiny, which takes just a couple minutes; there should be no syrup left anywhere in the pan but on the nuts.
  5. Transfer glazed pecans to bowl with spice mix; toss well to coat. Return glazed and spiced pecans to parchment-lined cookie sheet to cool (can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days).

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