These keep well, so making a large batch will guarantee a good stash. They also make an excellent gift, bundled in cellophane or in an inexpensive glass jar tied with ribbon.
4 cups pecan halves (about a pound)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1Preheat oven to 350?F.
2Spread pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 7-8 minutes, until fragrant. Drizzle with maple syrup and toss to coat; continue baking for another 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the nuts absorb most of the syrup.
3In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle over the nuts and toss to coat. Spread on a cookie sheet to cool completely.
4Store extras in a tightly sealed container. Serves 12.
5Maple Cinnamon Pecans: substitute the spice mix for a blend made with 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger and ¼ tsp. salt.
Garlic Pepper Pecans: substitute the spice mix for a blend of 1 tsp. garlic salt, 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1/4 tsp.
6 freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper.