I eat pecans like they’re goin’ out of style. That’s how my mother would say it, anyway. 

As a Southerner, I love boiled peanuts and I make a mean bowl of truffled popcorn (the key is to dress the kernels with truffle butter and truffle salt) but pecans are definitely my “Last Meal” nibble.

The only thing better than a handful of salted pecans is a little bowl spilling over with extra crunchy, spiced, toasted pecans that taste like a forkful of pumpkin pie. Jamie and I have featured these beauties in our Couples Cooking series* for a while now, but they’ve been served as a garnish to his Guys Night Bourbon Milkshakes.

I say, These puppies deserve to stand alone!

From Thanksgiving through Christmas, you’ll always find a bowl of these pecans on our kitchen counter, a ready nibble between meals and a yummy bite with something bubbly. If we had a home, or, say, an apartment over 800 sq. feet, I’d place bowls of these pumpkin pie nuts in just about every room–my answer to peanuts, popcorn and red & green M&M’s.

The best part of all–and key when you have an 18 month-old who is full of toddling mischief– is that this is the easiest recipe you’ll make all holiday season. Whisk together the egg white, spices, sugar and salt and voila! Holiday snacks are served.

*Our roster of new Couples Cooking classes will post this week!

Holiday Spiced Pecans

  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

For the egg wash:
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk egg white until frothy. To the beaten egg white, whisk in sugar, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Add the pecans and mix well to coat. Pour pecans onto lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until you can smell the nuts and the egg wash feels tacky to the touch.

Remove pan from oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow nuts to cool on the parchment paper, in the pan for five minutes. Remove parchment paper with baked nuts from baking pan and allow to cool on rack for another 15 minutes. Finally, pick pecans off of parchment paper and either serve or place them in a tightly sealed storage container. Pecans keep for 2 weeks.