REALLY, REALLY EASY CANDIED PECANS
(As you might imagine, this is not my recipe. It comes from Two Healthy Kitchens)
The holiday season often means parties, dinners, getogethers…that kind of thing. The grateful guest usually brings something to the hostess. If you don’t want to bring a bottle of wine or flowers, considered making your own gift. That’s what I did today for my swim team’s (Tamalpais Aquatic Masters) annual holiday party. I made really, really easy candied pecans.
I can hear you now. ‘I don’t have the time.’ Wrong. This takes about 5 to 7 minutes. “Too complicated.” Wrong”. Only five steps. Only five ingredients. “I can’t cook.” Neither can I. But I can make this.
1 ½ tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons water
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup pecan halves
In a small bowl combine brown sugar, water, vanilla and kosher salt, stirring to combine (don’t worry that the sugar and salt won’t all be dissolved). Set this at-the-ready, next to your stove, as this recipe goes really quickly.
In a medium-large saucepan over medium heat, toast pecans for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning (Note: I think the burned ones are tasty). When you begin to smell a lovely nutty aroma, they’re done.
Quickly drizzle the sugar mixture into the pan, on top of the pecans, stirring the nuts as you drizzle. Stir constantly for about 15 seconds, until the pecans are thoroughly coated in the sugar mixture. Immediately remove from heat so they don’t burn. (See note above.)
Spread the pecans on a piece of parchment paper to cool. (Parchment paper is the most exotic part of this recipe, but you can buy it at any grocery store.) Once cooled, you can break the nuts apart, if needed.
Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container. The pecans will be slightly sticky at first, but the coating hardens further within a few hours.
That’s all. C’est tout! With just 5 minutes worth of work you will dazzle your friends.
SAN RAFAEL RIDGE
Almost every morning, I walk my dog, McCovey, on the San Rafael Ridge. The Ridge has one of the best views of our Marin County mini-mountain, Mt. Tamalpais. Someone recently decorated one of the trees for Christmas. A very nice view for a crisp December morning.