Salty Sweet Pecans
I love candied pecans. Are you with me on this? OMG, they are so very very good…and so very very bad for you. I tried to clean them up a bit, cutting out ingredients such as refined sugar and butter and simplifying the process. Making a cleaner, slightly less unhealthy version of candied pecans was fantastic, but I admit that I was driven to make them this way as a direct result of my not wanting to wash a baking sheet. Don’t ask me why, but I hate washing cookie sheets. They are unweildy, they don’t fit well in my sink, and they end up splashing water all over the place. And, in cases like these, they are about 5 times bigger than what I need. So, I fired the cookie sheet for nut toasting purposes and brought out the nonstick skillet. It works just as well and clean up is a bit, well, cleaner.
This is kind of a non recipe in that you can modify the amounts of ingredients so that the end result tastes however you want it to. Add cinnamon or other spices if you like. I wanted a basic salty sweet pecan that I can put on everything, and that’s precisely what this is. The ratio of the amounts of ingredients I use are below, but feel free to change it to suit your purposes.
Start with a nonstick pan because that honey gets messy! Heat a little bit of olive oil in the pan. Add pecans of any size and move them around a bit so they are evenly coated with the heated oil. Toast them in the pan, on medium low, for approximately 5 minutes, or until they start to smell fragrant. Pour (or squeeze) in honey. It will immediately start to sizzle and thin out. Stir pecans so that they are all coated with honey. Sprinkle on the salt right away and stir well again. The honey should still be sticky enough that the salt adheres to the pecans. Continue to cook the pecans on medium low, for another minute, stirring often. The honey will start to caramelize and turn a darker shade of brown.
After 1 minute, remove the pan from the heat and turn pecans out on to a piece of parchment paper to cool. They will be pretty sticky when they come out of the pan, so putting them on a piece of parchment will make your life much easier in the end.
Chop them up or eat them whole, put them on oatmeal, multigrain breakfast bake, crostini, salads, whatever you want. If you have them around, you will find yourself putting them on everything, which is okay because they are so easy to make that when they’re gone, you just whip up another batch! Printable instructions are below.
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1. Heat oil in a nonstick frying pan on top of the stove.
- 2. Add pecans, stirring to coat each pecan with oil.
- 3. Toast pecans in pan, stirring often, for approximately 5 minutes, or until pecans become fragrant.
- 4. Pour in honey and stir pecans to make sure they are all evenly coated with honey. Immediately add sea salt.
- 5. Continue to cook pecans in pan on stovetop for one more minute. The honey will begin to caramelize, turning the pecans a darker, shinier color. Remove from heat and turn pecans out onto a piece of parchment paper to cool.