Sunday, November 27, 2011

Candied Pecans

I have always loved pralines, or candied pecans.  Candied walnuts... candied almonds... yep, all good. 
So in the latest issue of VegNews there was a section on homemade candies.  You better believe I flipped to that section immediately and began a mental tally of what's in the pantry and what I can get away with subbing, and what I'd be forced to buy since I can't very well let those recipes go to waste.  

I kept going back to the candied pecans.  I didn't have pecans.  I didn't even have walnuts.  Cashews, as you know by now, I did have but didn't really think they'd work (but who am I kidding, I'd give 'em a try).  So, sadly, I tucked the magazine away.

Then I went to the Saturday market.  Buahaha, local pecans! Thank YOU Mr. Fruit n' Veggie Reseller.  I say this purposefully because many of the stands there aren't actually growers of produce, they resell from who knows where.  I boycotted that market for a few months when I found out my "Carrot Man" was just grabbing more from the big bag of Bunny Loves in his trunk.  Sigh.  Now, in defense of those who do grow, Turkey Hill is always there and they are awesome. A few others are actual farms, but a lot of them aren't.  

But I digress.  The prices tend to be cheaper than the supermarket, so I got me a bag of pecans.

Skipping all the way home, in my mind because I drove in the physical world, I couldn't wait to get on this recipe!  I was giddy for hours until I could get started.

And started I got.

For the record, this recipe is REALLY simple, it just take a while to bake.

*modified slightly from VegNews' recipe*
Lots of servings... but they're irresistible it's almost futile to try and count. But I'd say about 3 cups or so in total, so roughly 18 servings?  Wow... this little piggy went to town!

12oz shelled pecan halves
1 1/2 tsp ground flaxseeds
2 TBS water
3/4 TBS vanilla extract
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBS light corn syrup

1. In a medium-large bowl mix the flaxseed meal with the water and vanilla.  Mix well and then let it sit about 5 minutes or so to thicken.

2. In the meantime, mix the sugar, salt and cinnamon in another bowl.

3. Heat the oven to 250F.  When the flaxseed mixture is ready, add the corn syrup and mix.  Then add the pecans and toss really well to coat thoroughly.

Keep mixing... I just want to show the picture below too...

4.  Add the sugar to the pecans and mix, toss, shake, stir super well til ultra-thoroughly coated.  

5. Line a cookie/baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread the pecans as evenly as possible.  It'll get messed up later. 

6.  And now you play the waiting-but-attentive game.  Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  The first three stirs will seem redundant, because they'll still be sticky.  It's that last one that really dries them out, so be patient.  Let them cool completely when they are done. 

Store them in an airtight container if you aren't eating them all in one sitting.  It's tempting, believe me. 
 Yum.... I miss them already... but I think I'll try walnuts next... teehee...

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