Trail Food: Spiced Pecans

Sweet and crunchy spiced pecans

In about another month, we are headed out west for another backpacking trip.  This time, Washington.  5 days and 4 nights learning, hiking, camping, and not showering.  What does that mean to me?  Snacks.  When I am on the trail, I need some good snacks.

I have been eating these spiced pecans for the better part of a decade now.  My mother-in-law makes them by the boatload every Christmas as gifts and I am always eager to eat them.  This was the first Christmas I made them.  As I was munching on them,  the realization hit me that they would be wonderful trail snacks.  A little sugar to get you jazzed up, a lot protein to keep you going, and crunch to keep you satisfied.  They are also a dream stirred into your morning oatmeal, in case for some freak reason, you have more than you can eat.

Spiced Pecans

From: Suzanne Goodell who got the recipe from Dee Goodell

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the water and egg white.  Add in sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and salt.  Stir to combine.  Allow to sit until sugar dissolves, about 15 minutes.   While waiting for sugar to dissolve, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or silpat.  (Seriously, do this step.  My mother-in-law’s recipe says you can grease the pan, but then her notes also say the nuts will stick and break if you allow them to cool on the pan.  Let’s make it easier on ourselves and just use some parchment.  No sticking.)

Dip nuts in egg mixture and spread on cookie sheet flat side down.  Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove from oven.  Using a wide spatula, scrape the nuts off the cookie sheet so they aren’t sticking to the parchment but allow them to remain on the pan to cool.  Allow to cool.  Store in an airtight container.  If not using right away, you can freeze.