Two years ago, a dear friend of ours, Lyle, came to visit at Christmas time and brought a beautiful jar of bourbon pecans, and I scoffed, because I hate pecans.
Or… so I thought…
Cuz then I ate one of these and I couldn’t stop eating them, and I insisted on getting the recipe from him.
He sent it over to us but you know how life gets in the way of things sometimes? Yeah, I just finally got around to making them for myself.
Christmas time always has me thinking about Lyle and when he’s coming to visit. He lives in another state and we usually only see him a couple times a year. He’s a great friend. Leading into this season, I started thinking about these pecans, and how I had the recipe, and had to make them.
They’re a little spicy, they’re savory, and they’re highly addictive, but… at least they are nuts and healthy right? Right. Make them!
1 lb pecans
3 oz bourbon, simmered and reduced by half to about 3 tablespoons
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon Angostura bitters
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon corn oil (or other light oil)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Boil a saucepan full of water and blanch the pecans for 1 minute. Drain.
2. Combine the reduced bourbon, sugar, bitters, Worcestershire sauce, and oil in a large bowl. Whisk together to combine. Pour the pecans (still hot) into the bowl and toss together to coat the pecans with the bourbon sugar mixture. Let stand 10 minutes.
3. Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. When the pecans are crisp and lightly brown, and liquid has evaporated (30 minutes for me), pour pecans into a clean bowl. Combine the cayenne, salt, pepper, and cumin, and sprinkle over the pecans while tossing. Pour onto a clean sheet pan and cool in a single layer. Store in an airtight container.