For More Than Just Pie! Pecan Halves

Ingredient Spotlight

I love pecans. Love them. But somehow I forget about that fact for roughly 90% of the year, remembering only when a family member requests that I bring my favorite pecan pie for Thanksgiving. But then it's all pecans all the time...until I run out of my Thanksgiving pecan bulk buy. What do you do with your leftover pecans?Once toasted in the oven, I find that pecans have the best crunch of all the nuts. They're great on their own as a pre-dinner snack or tossed into salads, but also retain their buttery crunch when baked into loaves of bread and cookies. I also love all the nooks and crannies in the top, which are perfect for collecting spices or holding a bit of sauce.

Pecans are actually a member of the hickory family, and the trees can continue producing nuts for hundreds of years. Pecan harvest happens in the fall, which is probably why pecan pie became such a prominent Thanksgiving staple. These nuts have a high fat content, which can cause them to quickly go rancid. Be sure to buy nuts as fresh as you can find them and then keep the nuts in the freezer for longer-term storage.

What are your favorite recipes with pecans?

More Pecan Recipes and Ideas:
Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie
Classic Southern Pralines
Pearl Couscous with Mint and Pecans
Goat Cheese Pops with Herbs, Bacon, and Pecans
Savory Spiced Pecans
Steel-Cut Oats with Dates, Coconut, Cinnamon, and Pecans
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies with Cherries and Pecans

Related: Kitchen Science: Why Toast Nuts Before Baking?

(Image: Robert Anthony/Shutterstock)

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