|September 6, 2012||Posted by Ashley under Better Than Rice And Beans, Saving Money|
Last year I was a little short of Christmas cash, and by that I mean that any gift I purchased was going to have to go on a credit card. No lie. I decided right then and there that I just wasn’t going to go into debt for the rest of my life, in order to purchase presents. Of course, my children were going to get a gift of some kind, but everyone else? Ummmm. Not so much….
But who wants to be the grinch at Christmas? I did want to do something for friends and family, but my shoestring budget was not cooperating. I tried to think about things I already had…..and that amounted to a bunch of nothing – until I thought about the 32 gallon size bags of pecans that I had in my outdoor freezer. My parents have a pecan tree and it had really been producing the last few years. And no, I am not exaggerating. My freezer – and theirs – was stuffed to overflowing with pecans!
So thus began the quest for a recipe that used pecans as the main ingredient. I came up with several candied pecan recipes from the internetz and began testing them out. Some were so chewy and gooey that I thought I was gonna lose a filling trying to eat them. Many left the pecans soggy and gross. A chef, I am not, and these failures were probably my fault and not the recipe. Finally, I started playing around a little with ingredients and came up with a variation of several of the recipes that I had found.
Here’s the recipe:
1 egg white
1 Tbl water
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups pecan halves
1 cup white sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven – 250 degrees. Line large cookie sheet (one with sides works best) with heavy duty aluminum foil. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray. Mix egg white, water and vanilla until frothy. In a separate bowl mix sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add pecans to liquid and continue to toss until all of the liquid is evenly coating the pecans. Pour sugar mixture over pecans and stir to coat the pecans evenly. Spread the pecans over the lined cookie sheet. Bake at 250 for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
It is absolutely delicious and my kids (who don’t normally like pecans that much love these! And you can’t go wrong with the recipe – it turns out the same way every single time I make it! Of course, the best part is that they cost me next to nothing because I get the pecans for free. Obviously, that isn’t true for everyone, but ask yourself if you already have something that could be turned into a great but inexpensive gift for others. Are you crafty? Do you have a stash of fabric that you could use up? If you put your mind to it you will probably come up with some great ideas!
And just so my family knows – the pecan tree was quite generous again this year…..so…..I really hope that you like candied pecans!!!