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  • Writer's pictureNona Spillers

Squirrel Tree Ranch Spiced Pecans

I grew up on Squirrel Tree Ranch, named for the rural area's number one nemesis of the old pecan trees that provided shade and some of the most delicious native nuts you’ve ever tasted. Native Texas pecans (pronounced puh-cahn) are small, high in oil content and rich in flavor.

Our hallway was lined with dozens and dozens of pecan filled paper bags, tops taped down waiting to go to the nut cracker. When I discovered as an adult that pecans are coveted and expensive, I was shocked! Whoever said money doesn’t grow on trees has never picked pecans.

The drought over the past couple years has really hampered the crops, making them even more cherished.

Here’s one of my favorite ways to spice up any dish, gathering or holiday!

1 Egg White

1 Tablespoon Water

2 Tablespoons Honey

1lb Raw Whole Nuts

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 1/2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Paprika

1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl whisk egg white & water until frothy. Whisk in honey. Add nuts and toss to thoroughly coat.

Combine dry ingredients in a plastic baggie or covered bowl. Add the nuts and shake well to coat in spice mix. Spread nuts evenly on a baking sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes stirring every 10.

One pound of nuts will make 5 half pint jars full - great for gifting!

Generally these never last long enough to make it into recipes - but if you plot carefully;

  • they are amazing atop a big salad

  • use them to garnish this herb crusted pork tenderloin

  • Great on an elegant cheese board or at a picnic

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