Rachel Travers’s Cinnamon Spiced Pecans

Rachel is a local food writer who writes frequently for the Boston Globe, and both she and her mother, Bernice, have been invaluable sources for countless extraordinary recipes. This combination is, Rachel says, “more complex than you can imagine sugar, salt, and cinnamon can be,” and she swears that it’s always the most popular item on a buffet table. I t can be easily tripled, but if you triple it, only double the egg and water. She also makes this using walnuts.

These are not as sweet as Jennifer Ligeti’s pecans and are made a bit spicier by the addition of the cinnamon.

Makes 4 cups.

1 large egg white (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon water
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups raw pecan halves

1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place the egg white in a stainless steel bowl and whisk until frothy. Slowly whisk in the water, sugar, salt, and cinnamon until thick. Fold in the pecans and toss until well coated.

3. Transfer the pecans to the prepared sheet and arrange in a single layer. Place in the oven and bake, stirring gently ever 15 minutes, until the meringue covers the nuts with a chewy, pale golden brown coating, 35 to 40 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes, then remove the nuts from the pan with a metal spatula and set aside to cool before serving.

Not just for snacking: These are great added to salads of almost any kind, mixed into ice cream, or substituted for plain nuts in chocolate chip cookies.

From Party Nuts! 50 Recipes for Spicy, Sweet, Savory, and Simply Sensational Nuts That Will Be the Hit of Any Gathering (The Harvard Common Press, 2002)