Dec 8, 2010

When Pecans Keep Me Up

I've been waiting.

Waiting and wishing for this

to finally...geez how much longer will this take...turn into this

I've lost sleep over it.  (Poor me)  When the wind blows, those little babies fall from the tree onto the garage roof.  Which is corrugated tin.  Which is loud.  Which is 6 ft from my pillow. 

Bap!  Roll, roll, roll.  Thump.  Bap!  Roll, roll, roll.  Thump.  Since just before Halloween this has been going on.  I look like I'm still wearing a zombie costume.
Careful what you wish for, huh?

But it's worth it. 
Late at night when everything else is quiet and I can really hear the pecans as they fall and roll down the roof, my mental lists kick in.

That's the sort of thing I do when I can't sleep.
Let me tell ya, it doesn't help much.

Bap!  Roll, roll, roll.  Thump.  Bap!  Roll, roll, roll.  Thump. 
Oooo.  That's enough for pie. 
Oh, yeah. I just heard some pralines right there. 
Let's see, candied pecans, mother-in-law's cookies, turtle bars.  Throw some in that apple blue cheese salad.
Wait.  What time is it?  3:10! 
Let's just put the rest in the freezer.

   We had a great crop this year...more than enough to share with family, friends, & co-workers.

Oh, and the sleep deprived zombie revenge ain't bad either
pecan cracker made by my father-in-law

One of my favorite Holiday treats is my mom's candied pecans.  It's a simple version, but it's the version I grew up with.  It's like my family's Lay's potato chips. 

Makes a nice gift packaged in jars decorated with all the cutesy ribbony froo-froo stuff.  It's also popular at parties.  Serve in muffin papers to make things nice and sanitary.


Linked to:
Tip Day Thursday Carnival @ Around My Family Table
Friday Potluck @ EKat’s Kitchen
Saturday’s Party @ Recipes of a Cheapskate


All you'll need are pecans, an egg, sugar, and cinnamon.

Really the egg only gives up the white...1 Tbsp of it, which is almost the entire white from a large egg.

There are gadgets for separating an egg.  Or you can juggle it between the halves of the shell.  But I prefer just using my hands--fingers as a strainer.  I think it ends up being easier and does a better job.
I decided to teach The Boy how to separate an egg.

...until that immaculate springy yellow orb appealed to his destructive side.  Wouldn't it be awesomely super cool to squish it?
Yes, of course over the bowl of egg white.

Stir the (second try) egg white with the pecans until the pecans are well-coated.  Mix the cinnamon & sugar together in a separate bowl.  Then stir in with the pecans to coat. 

Place on a baking sheet in one layer and bake for 30 min at 300 F.   Stir every 10 minutes.

Then wait an agonizing amount of time for them to cool down enough to eat.

How about some lagniappe?
My mom's Spiced Pecan Kisses have pretty much the same basic ingredients as the recipe above, but the method differs. 

I find it interesting that by simply changing the method--in this case beating the egg white into a meringue--you end up with something completely different.

So if you prefer something with a little more...uh...something, try the Spiced Pecan Kisses.  Or try them both.
See?  I'm always looking out for ya, babe.

Printer friendly recipes (candied pecans & spiced pecan kisses)

Candied Pecans
from my mom

1 tablespoon egg white
2 cups pecans or walnuts
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300. Mix egg white with pecans, stirring until pecans are coated and sticky. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over pecans. Stir until pecans are evenly coated. Spread on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Makes 2 cups.

Spiced Pecan Kisses
from my mom

¼ cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp (heaping) nutmeg
¼ tsp (heaping) cloves
1 egg white (at room temperature)
pinch of salt
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

Combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and set aside. Beat egg white and salt at high speed for 1 minute. Gradually egg the sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in the nuts.

Drop by teaspoonful onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 250 for 35-40 minutes.


  1. I loved the whole bit about conjuring pecan recipes until 3:10am. I would likely do the same thing! The noise of the pecans falling sounds like one of those special things that you remember from way back and can count on each year. That's pretty cool!

    I would love to gorge myself silly on both pecan treats. However, I'll have to stick with candied pecans because my attempts at meringue are lackluster.

    P.S. I knew the fate of that egg yolk even before I read it. LOL!

  2. Fabulous post! I'm a HUGE fan of nuts. Thanks for sharing, Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  3. That is too funny. I too have been collecting the pecans out of our yard every morning. I have a bag full and am going to start with a delicious pecan pie. Just can't get enough of it. Thanks for sharing two new to me recipes to use my pecans for.

  4. Next year, I expect you to send me a box of pecans! They are my all time favorite and my Granny no longer is able to send me the ones from her tree. I will be trying these recipes soon!!!! Thanks for linking up Tip Day Thursday. Please link up anytime.

    Around My Family Table

  5. Anonymous12/08/2012

    Loved your "pecan story"! I usually make fudge for a take away gift at our annual Christmas party. But this year it will be the candied pecans! Thank you for the inspritation !


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