Sugared Bourbon Pecans

I really wasn’t too keen on trying a recipe that is essentially boiled nuts in sugar, and yet I found myself unable to resist eating these once they had cooled. My husband, Mark, compares their taste and texture to that of glazed doughnuts, so if you’re the type who can’t stop at the first doughnut, beware.

Makes 2 cups.

1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
6 tablespoons bourbon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups lightly toasted pecan halves

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place the sugar, water, bourbon, nutmeg, cinnamon, as salt, in a large heavy-bottomed skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage, about 235 degrees on a candy thermometer or when the bubbles have bubbles. Add the pecans and stir until well coated.

3. Transfer the pecans to the prepared sheet, separating the individual nuts, and set aside to cool before serving.

Not just for snacking: These pecans are fabulous crumbled over French toast or waffles; for a truly out-of-control indulgence, lace the maple syrup with even more bourbon.

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)