Fall is one of my favorite times of year. I love the changing of the leaves, the slight crispness to the air, and of course all of the wonderful goodies that come with the season!! I mean pumpkin pie to apple cider, I seriously can't get enough of it all.
One of my favorite fall treats is toasted pecans. I was introduced to them by my mother-in-law, who was lucky enough to have grown up with a huge pecan tree in her front yard and has been making them since she was a kid (with her mom). I'm not sure words can describe how amazing they were the first time I tried them, but I do remember fire works going off in my mind!
So, a few years ago when she offered to teach me how to make them, I jumped at the chance.
The process is simple, but it takes a watchful eye and a lot of testing. The big thing to remember, pecans can go from perfect to burned in literally a couple of minutes.
I hope you enjoy!
Step 1: What You'll Need...
For perfect toasted pecans you only need 3 ingredients butter, salt, and pecans. Although, a health dose of patience doesn't hurt.
For a 2 cup batch I use the following:
2 Cups Shelled Pecans
1 Stick of UnSalted Butter
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (in a grinder)
*You can substitute the sea salt for table salt, though I still recommend using one that has no additives or anti-caking agents for the best results.
**You can also substitute Walnuts for the Pecans if you prefer them or have better access to them
Step 2: Step 1 Through Done!
As I've said, this is a very simple recipe, but it is still a bit hands on. Melt 1 stick of butter and pour it on to a foil lined baking sheet. Next scatter 2 cups of pecans on to the baking sheet and toss, being sure to coat the nuts thoroughly. Finally, sprinkle salt on the butter coated pecans and bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Toss the pecans and bake for another 10 minutes. Toss the pecans again and bake for another 5 minutes (this step will repeat until the nuts are done). You should start testing the nuts after about 35 minutes. You will be looking for a nice toasted taste and a crisp mouth feel, not chewy and definitely not burned.
Finally salt the pecans to taste.
The whole toasting process takes about 50 minutes, with the last 15-20 minutes requiring the most attention. Remember to watch and test regularly!!
*When the nuts are really close to done, you may even want to remove them as they will finish cooking a bit on the pan prior to cooling.
**The cooking times may vary a bit, depending on the real temperature of your oven. This is another really good reason to test regularly (I'm really trying to drive that point home).
Step 3: Eat and Enjoy!!!
Once the pecans have reached perfection remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the pan. When cool, transfer them to the receptacle of your choice. I store mine in a size appropriate Ziplock container.
My kids normally don't wait for them to cool before they start eating them and I admit, that I'm just as guilty. They are a fantastic little treat and really do help us ring in the season!
Plus, you can use the toasted pecans in everything from Banana Bread to Yogurt and they are always a delicious addition!
I hope you've enjoyed this Instructable and wonderful toasted nuts you make because of it!