Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans

Cook’s notes: These are on the sticky side, but they are very tasty.

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
Spice mix (see below)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Savory spice mix:
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1.5 teaspoons good quality chili powder
3/4 teaspoon paprika

Heat oven to 350 degrees and set a rack in the middle level. Line baking sheet with foil; coat with nonstick cooking spray.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pecans and sauté, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized. Stir in cumin, chili powder and paprika. Add vinegar and cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt to taste.

Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool, then store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve.

Source: Adapted from “The 150 Best American Recipes” compiled by Fran McCullough & Molly Stevens; original recipe from “New Tastes of Texas” by Stephan Pyles, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/foodwine/2003361643_pecans08.html

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