The photos for this Lookback Valentines Day post were taken a year ago, with the intention of posting them on this blog. Alas, gingerwroot.com wasn’t quite ready to launch at that time, and so these Valentine’s Day photos became throwback memories.
They’re wonderful memories to share, though! Shown are jars of my sugar and spiced pecans, adapted from the recipe at Smitten Kitchen that I first featured here. I put up the sugar and spiced pecans in various jars, tied on red and pink satin ribbons, and then placed the jars in pretty gift bags with a homemade tag.
These sugar and spiced nuts are such a tasty and lovely homemade gift…everyone seems to appreciate receiving them any time of the year. Try giving these to your sweethearts on Valentine’s Day too!
I had fun rounding up the gift bags too. I especially liked changing up this Victoria’s Secret bag…my friend Yvonne got a kick out of it too!
Here’s the recipe, once more, for the sugar and spiced pecans:
- ⅔ cup dark-brown sugar
- 1 and ⅓ cup white granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika)
- ¼ teaspoon cumin (optional)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 pounds pecan halves (or walnut halves)
- 2 egg whites, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons water
- parchment paper
- 2 large cookie sheets (I use jelly roll pans)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Mix sugars, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon, making sure there are no lumps; set aside.
- Beat egg white and water until frothy but not stiff. Add pecans, and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle nuts with sugar mixture, and toss until evenly coated.
- Spread sugared nuts in a single layer on two large cookie sheets (I use jelly roll pans) fitted with parchment paper.
- Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once. Reverse cookie sheets, placing one that was on top on the bottom shelf and one that was on bottom on the top shelf. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, stirring once. Reverse cookie sheets again, placing one that was on top on the bottom shelf and one that was on bottom on the top shelf. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, stirring once. Bake until nuts are dry and slightly browned.
- Remove from oven, and separate nuts as they cool. When completely cool, pour the nuts into a bowl, breaking up any that stick together.
- Crumble up leftover baked-on sugar inside of parchment paper and save in a covered jar as a topping for cereal, fruit or ice cream.
- If halving this recipe, then cooking time will be reduced by 5 to 10 minutes.
Enjoy, and Happy Lookback Valentines Day to all my readers and their sweethearts!
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