It’s almost Christmas. You have everybody’s gifts ~ but wait! No! You forgot your kids’ piano teacher (or Great-Aunt Agnes, or the next-door neighbor, or….) What in the world will you be able to find at this late date? Never fear…Cinnamon Pecans in a pretty glass canister or a decorative tin will be her favorite teacher’s gift this year.
I highly recommend making a double batch for several reasons. The biggest reason is you will be sorry if you don’t! lol The other reason is that it takes the same amount of time to make a double batch as a single one…and they store well…if they last that long.
These are decadent, let me tell you! I have never served (or given) them without rave reviews. In fact, I have to make sure to keep some back in the kitchen, or they will be devoured completely ~ even a double recipe ~ because people can’t stop eating “just one more.” 🙂
As I made these tonight, they were almost to the sugaring point when the electricity went out as a storm came through! I gave a howl for somebody to bring a flashlight to me quickly. There was just enough warmth left in the flat ceramic cooktop to complete the process…barely. They usually look a bit bumpier than these, but the sudden loss of heat changed them a tiny bit.
- 1 c. pure maple syrup (grade B gives the best flavor here)
- 2 T. Better Than Milk soy or rice milk powder (or enough of whatever non-dairy milk powder you have on hand that would make 1 cup of milk if you added water ~ only don’t add the water)
- 1/2-1 tsp. cinnamon (Saigon, Vietnamese, etc., if possible) ~ or to taste
- 1/2 tsp. salt ~ or to taste, but don’t leave it out, because it adds depth to the flavor
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 3 c. pecans (or a mix of your favorite raw nuts ~ while pecans are my favorites, almonds, walnuts, etc., or a mix of them work exceedingly well)
Mix and heat all ingredients in a 3-quart or larger saucepan (a 4-5-quart pan for a double batch) over medium high heat. Don’t worry if the milk powder doesn’t mix in well at first. It will dissolve as the mixture is heated.
Spread a 2-ft long sheet of waxed paper out on a counter top or table. (I use 2 sheets side-by-side for a double batch.) Continue to cook, stirring/folding frequently. As syrup thickens, turn the heat down as needed and stir/fold more often. Don’t try to hurry the process by using too high a heat except at the very beginning. You’ll only end up burning the maple syrup. This is a relatively slow process. Eventually, you will need to constantly stir them and keep a close eye on them. You’ll know they need constant stirring when the syrup begins to get long strings as you fold it over the nuts. Cook until nuts are completely sugared with no syrup left in the pan. You may need to keep tossing them for a little bit with the heat turned off and just the warmth of the pan to finish them off. You don’t want them glossy, but completely sugared.
Spread onto the waxed paper and let cool.