Rosemary spiced pecans are a holiday staple in our house. They are the perfect sweet and spicy snack to have around between meals, or to finish off a holiday cheese board or appetizer spread.
I made these at Thanksgiving and they were such a hit! They are deliciously addictive, with the spice from the cayenne pairing with the rosemary, vanilla, and sugar to create a wonderful combination of flavors at once. My family has made these for years, using a recipe from a local café that now has kitchen splatters covering the page. We often keep them out when we know company is coming and they never disappoint. They do have a bit of a kick, so adjust the cayenne to your (or your guests’) liking.
While I can’t resist giving away shortbread and brown butter ginger cookies to friends, family, and coworkers around the holidays, I know that everyone and their brother is also passing out sweets like it is their job. Packaging these up in mason jars is a great way to give a more unique and savory food gift. They are also naturally gluten free, which makes it easy to give them to an even broader audience. They are quick and easy to make, only require a few ingredients, and are a crowd pleaser. What are we waiting for?
Pecans can get pricey, so if you are making a big batch of these, use half pecans and half walnuts (or all walnuts, if you prefer), to make your pecans go farther. The combination of nuts creates a pretty dish full of different textures and color variations too, so it’s a win-win!
Rosemary Spiced Pecans
4 cups raw pecan halves*
½ cup natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne powder
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* Pecans can get pricey, so if you are making a big batch of these, you can use half pecans and half walnuts (or all walnuts, if you prefer), to make your money (and your pecans) go farther.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and place in the oven to lightly toast, about 5 minutes. Alternately, if you have a toaster oven, you can just use the toast feature to lightly toast the pecans.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, rosemary, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.
In a separate large bowl, mix the melted butter and vanilla. Remove the pecans from the oven and add them to the butter and vanilla mixture. Toss the nuts to coat them with the butter. Add the spice mixture and toss to coat evenly.
Return the pecans to the baking sheet, spreading evenly, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes more, until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Let the nuts cool completely on the pan. They will crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve, or for up to one week (though ours never last that long ;) ).
Recipe barely adapted from Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen