Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sugared Pecans

Well, Fall is here. There is a wonderful little nip in the air, leaves are turning colors, and moms, cooks, and bakers all have that glazed look in their eye, because they know that if it's fall, the holiday party season is just around the corner.
You can hear a scream in the distance. That is the sound of list making, party planning, and the dread fear of having  all your food befall some disaster right in front of the in laws. Or it is the sound of the dieter tiring to loose those last few pounds so they can fit in the new party dress. or ... ( fill in the blank)...

Of course as kids we never thought of those things, fall meant Halloween, which meant "Candy!"

This one is easy. My Gram  included them in her care packages every Christmas. Oh, and I dare you to stop at one.

1 1/2 cups pecans halves
3 egg whites
Pinch salt
1/2  cup granulated sugar
1/2 packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tarter

Preheat oven to 300°F.

 Put egg whites into a stand up mixer bowl. Add salt. Start the mixer speed on low, gradually increasing the speed until soft peaks start to become visible and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, about 2 to 3 minutes.

 Increase the speed to medium-high, and slowly add the sugar to the egg whites. Continue to whip the eggs and sugar for a few minutes. Then add the cream of tarter to the bowl. Increase speed to high and whip the egg whites until they fluff up and become glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4-5 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the pecan pieces. Drop by teaspoons onto a cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper.

 Put the cookies sheet in the 300°F oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Leave them in the oven overnight. In the morning they should be ready - crisp on the outside, light and airy on the inside. If they are a little marshmallowy or chewy on the inside in the morning, just let them dry out for a few more hours.

Makes 12-24 cookies, depending on the size.

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