Peppered Pecans

These addictive spiced nuts are delicious as hors d’oeuvres or in a salad with crisp apples and blue cheese.
pecans in salad

Photo by Laura Petrilla   

Here’s a recipe from Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating, the fun and informative cookbook from the famed Ann Arbor, Mich.-based delicatessen and online gourmet-foods purveyor. The recipe can easily be halved.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together 12 tablespoons of butter (room temperature), two-and-one-quarter cups of sugar, three tablespoons freshly ground black pepper, one-and-one-quarter teaspoon fine sea salt, two tablespoons ground cinnamon, one-and-one-quarter teaspoon ground allspice, one-and-one-quarter teaspoon ground cloves, one-quarter teaspoon ground ginger and a pinch of ground cardamom. Add two large egg whites and mix thoroughly to coat well.

Spread the spice-coated nuts in a large roasting pan. Roast for 18 to 25 minutes, turning every five minutes or so with a spatula. Remove from the oven and continue turning every five minutes until the nuts reach room temperature. The peppered pecans will keep in airtight containers for four to six weeks. Makes eight-10 cups. —Kate Chynoweth