Spicy Bourbon Pecans
At almost every celebration stage these hot, spicy nuts sit waiting to be sampled. Guests scoop them up by the handful.
1 pound pecan halves
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar
1/2 teaspoon angostura bitters
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon corn oil
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven tot 325°F (163°C). Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Drop in pecans, cook for 1 minute, then drain at once. Rinse the nuts with cold water and set aside.
Pour bourbon into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it bubble steadily until it reduces to 1/4 cup.
In a large bowl, combine the bourbon and sugar. Stir well until sugar melts. Add bitters, Worcestershire, and corn oil. Stir in pecans and mix thoroughly.
Let nuts sit for 10 minutes. Using a rimmed baking sheet, spread nuts out in one layer. Bake them for 35 minutes, tossing them every 10 minutes or until all the liquid evaporates.
In a bowl, toss the hot pecans with the cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and black pepper. When all the nuts are coated with the seasoning, transfer them to the baking sheet. Let them stand for several hours until they are cool and dry.
Store the nuts in a tightly covered container for up to several days.
Pack the nuts in small tins and attach a tag marked "store at room temperature" to each.