Pecans are tied with pistachios as my favorite nuts. I feel very strongly about nuts. Pistachios are downright delicious, but pecans and I have a deeper history. My grandparents had a pecan tree (the swing we swung on was tied to one of its branches) and I remember cracking pecans at the kitchen table over plastic president-of-the-united-states placemats (it only lists through Bush I back then) at Grandma’s kitchen table at the old house, and picking the delicious bits out of the sharp dusty shells. And we said PEE-cans, not pih-CONS.
For whatever reason, pecans have gotten downright expensive, so much so that I only ever spring for almonds and occasionally walnuts now (and very rarely, a little bag of pistachios–this is California after all).
But when I saw this sign at the store today, you better believe I bought somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 lbs.
So cheap, for pecans! Practically free! And while I love to eat them just on their own (and in pies, and pretty much any way–my mum always put them in her chocolate chip cookies and to this day, CCC’s taste incomplete without pecans), I wanted something a little more decadent tonight.
So I modified this recipe [Shape Magazine, 8 Amazingly Delicious and Healthy Pecan Recipes] to fit the needs of 2 people instead of 8, and my humble pantry (Ryan dubbed the recipe elitist, with its requests for “Celtic or Himalayan salt” and “sweet leaf stevia”).
Normally, I would have scoffed at coconut oil, but not today!
Wha-bam! Lately, all of the elite food blogs (actually, just all of the blogs, elite or not) have had recipes calling for coconut oil. It’s super trendy, like the new chia seed or something. But it was on sale at the store last week so I bought a tub.
Anyway, here’s what I made, all measurements are approximations, obviously do what tastes good to you.
Delicious Candied Toasted Pecan Pieces
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1 tsp coconut oil, or butter, whatever
A pinch of salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Toast your pecans. My pieces were small so I did them for about 5 minutes at 350, but I also left them in while our toaster oven was preheating. Seriously do this, it makes them so much yummier.
Mix in the other stuff. Eat. Probably split with someone, or don’t.
They’re super yummy, kind of like the pecan praline candies we used to buy in Savannah, but without all that yummy butter sugar candy stuff. So less bad for you, still delicious, still all the right flavors. And so easy to make! These would be good on anything–ice cream, oatmeal, yogurt, whatever, but we polished off the bowl by ourselves, all by itself.