Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Holiday Entertaining 2009
Makes 1 cup
These are so good you’ll want to ‘test’ a few, you know, just to make sure they’re not poisonous or anything. Maybe do yourself a favor, and plan to make extras.
1 cup pecan halves
2 Tbl sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbl rum (but only if you have it on hand; otherwise you can just use water)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1 Tbl butter
First toast the pecans. Preheat the oven to 350°F, line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the pecans across the paper. Toast for five minutes, turn the pan, and continue to toast until you can smell the nice nutty aroma and the color of the nuts has deepened a bit, about 10-15 minutes total. Remove from the oven and reserve the nuts.
Next, combine the sugar, kosher salt and ground cinnamon in a medium bowl. Stir together and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the rum, vanilla, brown sugar and butter. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. When it comes to a boil, add the toasted pecans. Stir to completely coat the nuts with the glaze. Continue to cook, stirring constantly until nearly all the liquid has evaporated, about 1-2 minutes. Immediately transfer the glazed pecans to the bowl with the sugar mixture and toss to completely coat the nuts with the sugar. Transfer the coated nuts back to the parchment-lined sheet tray. Allow to sit until cooled to room temperature, and then store in an air-tight container. These will last about a week.
SERVED AT THIS DINNER PARTY.