I suspect I’m a bit late in the candied nuts department. I never want to be ‘out there’ with the new fads. Who am I kidding?? Of course I do but you can’t be everywhere.
I was at Costco last week and saw a big bag of pecans for only $5.99 and I couldn’t resist. I figured that even if they weren’t terrific, I could eat them in the dark under the stairs. First I tried cinnamon sugar candied pecans and they were outstanding.
My friend Carol isn’t fond of sweets so when she said, “What are you eating???” with a very quizzical ‘where’s mine’ look, I told her they were cinnamon sugar candied nuts and she said no thanks. More for me I thought!
Then she leaned over and grabbed a couple and said, “These are really good, are there any more?” I told her they were in the kitchen and off she trotted to get a bowl full of nuts. Definitely less for me.
I would show you pictures of the first try on the candied nuts but sadly, we ate ’em all!
Today I was in the refrigerator looking for something and I saw the maple syrup staring back at me and thought I might try pecans with a buttery maple glaze. These are even better than the cinnamon sugar nuts!
When I was young, my parents were in a church group where they’d meet at each other’s houses once a month and when the religious discussions were over (they never took very long) the hostess would try to outdo all the other women. They would have all denied it but I watched from the staircase every time, on my belly, facing down the stairs and peeking through the balustrade and into the living room.
Mom would make home roasted nuts and one of the men in the group would always sit right by the bowl of nuts. One day just before the guests arrived I moved the bowl of nuts to the other side of the room. I decided this guy wasn’t going to eat all of MY nuts *again*. Do you remember doing silly things like this? As I was peeking down the stairs, he asked to swap with another guest because he needed a sturdier back on his chair. It was also next to the dish of nuts! Nuts all gone again.
I’m pretty sure that if I put these maple glazed candied pecans out, people would do musical chairs just to get to sit next to the bowl. They’re that good. I gave them a grind of pink salt when they came out of the oven and I liked them even better.
- 2 cups shelled pecan halves
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup (it would be an insult to the good nuts to use fake maple syrup)
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- Place a small pan on medium heat and add the butter, sugar and maple syrup.
- Stir until it comes to a boil and then toss in the nuts.
- Keep cooking for another 3 minutes or so and then pour the nuts on a baking sheet covered with baking paper or a silpat (I used the paper)
- Separate the nuts into a single layer and place in the oven for 6-8 minutes. At the 5½ minute mark I stirred the nuts and made sure they were in a single layer and baked for another 2½ minutes.
- Take out of the oven and leave to cool. They'll be dry, sweet and mapley and perfect for guests or for yourself.