If you are looking for a satisfying snack, try these Sweet and Spicy Pecans. I also keep some on hand as an addition to salads and veggie dishes.
My dear friend, Bonnie Hildebrandt, created this recipe decades ago. Every time I read her recipe, I laugh. The heading on my dog-eared copy of her tasty creation shows her sense of humor:
(ORIGINAL RECIPE…Just like Bonnie, sweet and spicy!)
When Bonnie makes these nuts, she makes a full batch, which requires an oven with two racks. If you have access to a residential oven, I highly recommend doing the same. The sweet and spicy pecans should be good at room temperature until the best-by date on the pecans. You can also freeze any extras or give some away as gifts.
Since this blog is about cooking in a one-butt kitchen, I cut Bonnie’s original recipe in half. My RV oven only has one rack, which seem to be the standard. The only trick to making a half batch is getting half of an egg white. I whip one egg white with water per the directions and just use half of it.
Sweet and Spicy Pecans are a delicious addition to Pecan Cranberry Brussels Sprouts and Beet Salad (recipe to be posted soon).
Serves: 10 to 15 (makes 3 cups of sweet and spicy pecans)
Active time: 10 minutes Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Specialized One-Butt Kitchen Utensils
- An Immersion Hand Blender is a handy, compact addition to a one-butt kitchen. Most of them have several attachments, including a whisk, blender, and food chopper.
- This Egg Separator provides an easy way to separate the yolk from the white.
- Use the largest rimmed baking sheet that will fit in your RV oven. The interior dimensions on my RV oven are 16.5″ by 15″. This Baking Pan with Rack measures 13″ by 9.5″. This pan also comes with a silicone pad.
- An Oven Thermometer will indicate when the oven is preheated to the specified temperature.
- A Pizza Stone on the rack helps distribute the heat of the oven. Without it, food is likely to burn above the heating element and be undercooked on the sides.
Ingredients for RV-sized batch (can be doubled for residential oven):
- nonstick cooking spray (or line pan with silicone pad)
- 2 tbsp + ½ tsp Splenda sugar substitute
- 2 tsp chili powder (Bonnie says the type of chili powder used makes a BIG difference. She recommends Spice Island Chili Powder.)
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp water (same amount for double batch)
- 1 egg white (use only half of the whipped egg white)
- 3 cups pecan halves
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet (or two for a double batch) with nonstick cooking spray or line pan with a silicone pad.
Combine Splenda, chili powder, cayenne pepper and salt in a small jar. Put a lid on the jar and shake until well blended.
Place the egg white and water in a medium bowl. Use an immersion blender with a whisk attachment (or a hand mixer) to beat until very foamy. Remove half of the whipped egg white and toss unless you are making a double batch.
Add the pecans to the bowl and stir to coat the pecans with egg white froth. Sprinkle about 2/3 of the spice mixture over the pecans and stir. Repeat with the remaining spice mixture.
Place the pecans on a baking sheet and spread them out evenly. Bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees. Increase the temperature to 275 and bake for an additional 30 minutes. In the last 30 minutes, shake the pan or stir the pecans with a spatula several times to prevent burning.
Special consideration for making a double batch:
If you are making a double batch in a residential oven, switch position of the pans on the racks when there’s about 15 minutes of cooking left. I learned this the hard way. The first time I made this at home, the pecans on the bottom rack burned.