I have been wanting to do this blog for months now, and finally had some spare time. (Spare time? What is that?!)
Every Christmas, I see recipes for spiced pecans on Pinterest, and have been dying to make my own with ESSENTIAL OILS! Weee!!! They make wonderful flavoring agents to baked goods, in lieu of dried spices from the grocery store. While the heat of the oven will bake off any of the health properties of the oils, the flavor will remain!
I have chosen to spice my pecans with cassia, cardamom and cinnamon. I chose these 3 because they are perfect for the Fall/Winter holidays because they are so warm and comforting.
Cassia is one of my favorite scents to diffuse in my home when I want to make it home-y and inviting (along with cardamom and wild orange!). Cassia smells like cinnamon, but softer and sweeter.
Cardamom is another one of my favorites. It is used in many Scandinavian baked goods. I grew up eating boller (or “mom’s Norwegian buns,” as we called them) *snicker* which contains this spice. So, every time I smell cardamom, it reminds me of mom’s buns *snicker snicker*. We’d eat them as a snack with butter and strawberry jam. Sooooo gooood. (I will be doing a boller blog as soon as I find more of that spare time lying around!)
Cinnamon was the final spice chosen for this tasty treat. I could have left it out, because those other 2 spices are delicious enough on their own. If you leave any of them out, make sure you double one of the other oils. You want to make sure you have enough flavor. And 2 total drops of oil doesn’t quite give the pecans enough spiciness! (Also, if you don’t have essential oils, you could always substitute the oils with powdered spices. I would use 1/2 tsp of each spice)
The recipe below is very easy. If you don’t have Ziploc bags, just use 2 large mixing bowls. If you use any different spices, be sure to comment below and let me know how they turn out – I’d love to hear of different combos! I have seen some recipes out there with cayenne, cumin, sriracha sauce or turmeric on their spiced nuts, but I am not a fan of super spicy things. Cinnamon, cardamom and cassia are spicy enough!
No need to diffuse any essential oils in your home while baking these nuts. The aroma from the nuts will fill your home and make you grab a glass of eggnog, pop in a DVD of “Elf” or “A Christmas Story” and get cozy!
When the nuts are finally baked and cooled, you can put them in holiday-themed tins or mason jars and make cute and budget-friendly Christmas gifts. You can go one step further and decorate the jars with ribbon and a fancy nametag. Add that personal touch! I love crafty things, but have no time to decorate, so I re-use gift boxes/tins that I’ve collected over the years. Spiced nuts make great teacher gifts! Put out a bowl of these nuts at a Christmas party or toss them on top of your salad. Even kids will gobble them up!
Cassia Cardamom Glazed Pecans
2 egg whites
2 Tbs melted butter (can be omitted)
1/2 Tbs vanilla extract
1/2 Tbs water
1 lb pecan halves
1/2 cup sugar (I used brown)
1 drop cassia essential oil
1 drop cardamom essential oil
1 drop cinnamon essential oil
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 250°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a gallon sized freezer bag, mix together the egg whites, melted butter, vanilla extract, essential oils and water.
In a second gallon sized freezer bag, mix together the sugar and salt.
Add pecans to the bag with the egg white mixture. Seal the bag and shake around the pecans until they are evenly coated.
Transfer the coated pecans to the bag with the sugar mixture. Seal the bag and shake around until the pecans are evenly coated with the sugar mixture.
Spread the pecans on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely.
FYI – Not all essential oils are created equal. Most oils are adulterated, contain fillers and contaminants and come from Lord-knows-where. The oil company I purchase from gives full disclosure of their countries of origin, and they are third-party tested for absolute purity. They are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade and extremely potent. If you would like more information on how to get them, please comment below and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!