Holiday time means it's time for ICED PECANS! I found this recipe in an old Better Homes and Gardens magazine from the 60's. That's as old as me! Their recipe was for ICED ALMONDS but since I'm from Texas, I use PECANS instead. Each pecan half is coated ("iced") with a thin coating or crust of candied sugar that reminds me of Louisiana pralines. Oh, so good!
These are a wonderful holiday treat but I make them throughout the year as well! I usually double the recipe and make many batches to give as gifts. They're done in less than 10 minutes once you've got all your ingredients together.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Lightly spray with cooking spray, and set aside.
In a heavy skillet, use a wooden spoon to combine pecans, sugar, pinch of salt and margarine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 9 minutes. Sugar will melt and turn a rich brown color. Watch out for spatters.
Remove from heat and immediately stir in vanilla extract. The vanilla extract being stirred into the hot pecan mixture will make your kitchen smell delicious! Be careful - the pan will be very hot.
Spread mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and VERY LIGHTLY sprinkle with salt right away while they're still hot (optional). This tiny touch of salt balances out the sweet, buttery, vanilla flavor. Using 2 forks, separate pecans quickly before they cool and stick together; cool completely.
Stored tightly covered, they will keep for a week or two. They don't last that long at my house! They’re so good, you may need to reserve ("hide") a few for yourself!
Note: Use only stick margarine for this recipe to be it’s best. Soft margarine in a tub DOES NOT work in this recipe.
Note: While the pecans are cooling, fill the pan with hot, soapy water at let it sit for a few minutes. The pan should then be very easy to clean.
Note: The recipe can be doubled to make a larger batch - double the ingredients but keep the cooking time the same.
Note: Walnuts, almonds or just about any nut can be used in place of pecans.
Note: Go ahead and sample a few while they're still warm - you going to want to experience that sweet, buttery pecan goodness while it's still warm - just don't burn your mouth! lol