How To Make Pumpkin Pie Pecans With Agave

There aren't many who will turn away a candied nut of any kind, but we're willing to bet your friends and family will be asking for more after they taste your pumpkin pie pecans. Made with agave (though you can use granulated sugar) they have a little less guilt and pack a serious holiday punch and crunch!

What You Need

Ingredients
6 ounces whole pecans
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground clove
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1/4 cup agave (can substitute 1/2 cup granulated sugar)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (more to taste once roasted)
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
butter as needed

Equipment
1 gallon zip top bag
medium mixing bowl
fork
baking sheet
whisk

Instructions

1. Gather Ingredients: This recipe isn't difficult to put together, but it does have lots of little spices. You can substitute an equal amount of pumpkin pie spice, but since we already have all the individual ingredients on hand, this was more cost effective.

2. Separate Egg: The egg white will help things stick together and spread out the agave to all the pieces. Add it to a medium mixing bowl.

3. Mix: In mixing bowl combine spices, vanilla and agave (or sugar), and water. Whisk wuntil frothy and bubbles appear on surface of mixture.

4. Shake, Shake, Shake: Add liquid mixture to the zip top bag. Add nuts and remove air and seal. Mush it all together, allowing the liquid to coat each nut.

5. Butter Baby: Grease the baking sheet with butter (oil will work, but butter yields the best flavor).

6. Fork Time: Remove each nut from the bag via fork (or small mesh strainer) to leave as much liquid as possible in the bag. Space evenly on a baking sheet.

7. Bake: Heat in a preheated oven (or toaster oven) at 300 degrees for 30-35 minutes until nuts appear dry and remove easily from pan.

8. Shake: Shake nuts to unstick them from each other. If it's easier, toss them back in a plastic bag for kids to help shake things up. Allow to cool on baking sheet, parchment paper or even silpat. Nuts first out of the oven will be sticky, but after a 15 minute cool down will harden up and taste wonderful

Additional Notes:
Add salt to taste after the nuts have cooled. If nuts are eaten directly out of the oven their flavors won't taste quite right and seasoning them could have a negative effect once they're all the way cool. So hold your horses and do something else for a few minutes before sampling and snacking!

More Nuts For Your Holiday Parties
Recipe Recommendation: Rosemary Roasted Cashews
Recipe: Sweet and Salty Cinnamon Almonds
Gift Recipe: Chez Panisse Herbed Almonds

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(Images: Sarah Rae Trover)