Southern Snacks Cookbook

The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Sweet Tea Pecans

I don’t know that I have ever attended a holiday party where there wasn’t a pretty little bowl full of seasoned nuts. Sometimes a silver or cut crystal bowl, sometimes shaped like Santa or a Christmas tree, usually on the bar or an end table.  And there are always people hovering around, picking up one or two nuts, but eyeing the bowl like they want to plunge their hand in and scoop up every last one.

A lovely bag of flavored nuts makes a wonderful gift, and they are handy to have around during the busy holidays.  And this little nibble combines the best of the South, abundant pecans and our favorite refreshment.   Sweet, with a hint of salty finish, these nuts are a unique rendition of the classic treat.  Make multiple batches to have around during the busy season – they will last in an airtight container for a week or freeze beautifully.

Sweet Tea Pecans

1 cup sugar

2 cups water

3 black tea bags

12 ounces pecan halves

Kosher salt

Stir the sugar and water together in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce the temperature to medium and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat, drop in the teabags and leave to steep for 10 minutes.  Remove the teabags and stir in the pecans.  Leave to soak for 45 minutes, stirring several times.

Heat the oven to 400°.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick foil or parchment paper.  Drain the pecans through a strainer, then spread in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle lightly with salt.  Bake the pecans for 13 – 15 minutes, until golden brown.  Watch carefully, nuts burn easily.

Cool the nuts on the baking sheet.

The nuts will keep in an airtight container for a week, or can be frozen.

Makes 12 ounces


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