"Things won are done,
Joy's Soul lies in the Doing."
- William Shakespeare

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Oh, David...

*Note:  The above title should be sighed, in a satiated sort of way.*

David Lebovitz, to be specific.  His insanely great cookbook, Ready for Dessert, to be further specific.  And, most specifically, as regards today's post:  Spiced Candied Pecans.

The mister, as you may have heard me mention, is featured in the Ballard Art Walk, this Saturday, at Venue Gallery.   Nibbles and wine are provided, so of course, ever going with my strong suit...I decide to go for it and make a few desserts.  Which, as we know, what with the dirty, Viagra-grubbing oven I possess, and my penchant for not following recipes...isn't always the wisest idea in my world.  Oh, but, why not?  What's life without a little bit of risk, right?

I have made, and tasted, several spiced nut recipes.  Some pretty darn tasty, some just so-so.  These may just make me look like I know what I'm doing in the kitchen, regardless of how my other desserts turn out.  Never mind that this recipe sort of isn't exactly, truly baking.  At least not in the cake and cookie sense.  And it's really simple.

Hooray for that.

A little note, before we go on:  the recipe calls for 1 tsp ground cloves, which I used, and sort of panicked about when the intense smell of cloves flooded the kitchen while baking.  I worried the nuts were going to be way too heavy on the cloves.  Never fear.  Trust David.  He knows what he's bloody doing.

Also, because I wouldn't be me if I didn't tweak a recipe, just a wee bit, David's recipe is for 4 cups pecans.  I used 2 cups pecans, 1 cup almonds, and 1 cup cashews.  Partly because I wanted a mix, and partly because I am a flawed human.  Try it either way.  They are lovely.  And highly addictive.  If I don't get it under control, I'm going to have to whip up another batch for Saturday.  And wouldn't that just be too terrible?

A little bit sweet, but only just.  A little bit salty, but only just.  A little bit spicy, but only just.  Oh, David...

Spiced Candied Pecans

Or, in my case:  Spiced Candied Nuts
adapted from Ready for Dessert, by David Lebovitz

1 large egg white
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbs ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups pecan halves, or a mix of pecan halves, and whole almonds and cashews

Preheat oven to 300.  Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, or oil lightly.

In a large bowl, whisk egg white until frothy, about 10 seconds.  Stir in the brown sugar, spices, salt, vanilla, and nuts, and stir until the nuts are well coated.

Distribute the nuts in an even layer on the baking sheet and bake until well toasted, and the glaze is dry, about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, and rotating your baking sheet front to back, if needed.  Let cool competely, separating the nuts as they cool.

Will keep for up to 2 weeks, in an airtight container.

Do you see how those little bites of deliciousness are fairly leaping off the dish, so I can eat them?
Oh, yes...
Here's hoping that my other desserts are as successful.
Cross fingers...

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