The recipe for these sweet, spicy pecans came from Kit and Carl Detering—proprietors of the Hart & Hind Ranch in Rio Frio, Texas. Take a page from the Deterings' book—give friends these delightful goodies as a holiday gift or offer them a bag of pecans in their shells, with a nut cracker and this recipe attached.
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 dried red chiles, preferably ancho
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 1⁄4 cup unsulfured molasses
Preheat oven to 250°. Combine sugar, chiles, and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, add pecans, stir well to coat evenly, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, Drain pecans, discarding liquid and chiles. Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.
Transfer pecans to a medium mixing bowl, drizzle with molasses, and toss to coat. Return pecans to baking sheet, spreading in a single layer, and continue to bake, stirring occasionally, until pecans are very crisp, about 45 minutes. Allow pecans to cool completely, then gently scrape them off the baking sheet using a metal spatula, breaking up any large pieces. Store in an airtight container.