Friday, December 31, 2010
One of the recipes from Around My French Table chosen for this month's French Fridays with Dorie was for Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts - a mixture of nuts, tossed in egg white and a combination of sugar and spices. I only had pecans around the house, but wanted to try the recipe because I've never seen or heard of tossing them in egg white first. My favorite way to make candied pecans up till now - which is a bit of a process and a bit of a mess, but oh so good - is to boil them, then let them dry a bit, then toss them in powdered sugar, and then they are deep fried, then allowed to cool (a method we used long ago from the Sky High cakes book for The Cake Slice Bakers). While they are crazy good that way, as you can imagine, they are definitely a treat and not anything I feel good about snacking on. That is why Dorie's method seemed like an interesting and worthwhile alternative.
That said, you know I never leave well enough alone, and since the only cocktails involved around our house involve juice boxes, I bagged the spices in our version. I used the same amount of sugar called for, then just upped the amount of cinnamon and added a small splash of vanilla. I have to admit, I'm sure the nuts would have looked nicer had I followed Dorie's directions to remove them from the egg whites individually to get rid of the excess. Let's face it though. With three small kids around, there was no time for that. I tossed, mixed, stirred, dumped and baked. I did give them a stir in the oven about half way through to help break up all the extra sugar and egg white I dumped in there with them, which was bubbling a bit more than I expected, but didn't seem to do any harm. So, bottom line, when my pecans were all done they were just a bit clumpier and not as pretty, but they still tasted really good!
This recipe and method is a definite keeper - we love tossed candied nuts in our salads and this ended up being a lot less messy and not as labor intensive (at least when done the lazy way like me!).
Happy New Year everyone! Visit the French Fridays with Dorie site to see all the links to this month's recipes under the LYL posts. I hope you all had a wonderful 2010 - now on to 2011!