Candied Pecans

I really wish December was two months long. Right now I’m on a break between semesters (which reminds me… I’ve got to go register for spring!). So I’ve been getting into the Christmas spirit, with Christmas crocheting and knitting and general crafty fun.

Today, I dropped everything to make some treats. I have a couple of gifts that need to go in the mail, and they need to go out tomorrow to make it on time. So between dropping the kids off to school and lunch time I made seasoned pecans and candied pecans and rum balls. All three are family favorites.

The candied pecans are so quick, they’re the kind of thing you can whip up while you’re waiting for something else to come out of the oven. They are also incredibly addictive.

I didn’t have time to roll the chocolate into rum balls before I had to rush to the airport to pick up James. He’s been in Juneau all week. I should have called, because the plane didn’t get to land in Cordova. They were stopped by fog and had to continue on to Anchorage. I was glad I made the drive, though because the town is in the shadow of mountains, and even on a clear day doesn’t get direct sunlight in winter. Driving across the delta to the airport, I got to see beautiful frosty view and soak up some rays on this 14 degree day.

I rushed back to town and went to a class Christmas party for Jay Jay, then took the kids and my fifth grade girl scouts over to the high school where the Honor’s Society was putting on Santa’s Workshop and kids get to make crafts to give as gifts. My favorite crafts this year were the very retro clove studded oranges and beeswax candles.

So in case you need a quick treat to make for a party or for a gift, here’s my mom’s recipe for candied pecans.

Candied Pecans
(Makes 3 cups)

1/2 c. sugar
1 t. instant coffee
2 T. water
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. salt
3 c. shelled pecans.

In a medium saucepan, bring to boil, sugar, instant coffee, water, cinnamon, and salt. Remove from heat, and add pecans, stirring for 3 minutes. Pour the sugared pecans onto parchment paper, and allow to cool (about 15 minutes). Store in a sealed, dry container.

You can double or triple this recipe–just make sure to use a saucepan large enough to easily stir all the pecans. I just did a batch with 2 pounds (8 cups) of pecans and it came out beautifully.

Gifts of Food: A recipe for Candied Pecans