Everyone has a few areas of their cooking they'd like to improve on. For me, it's yeast breads and candy. Since this post has nothing to do with yeast breads, I'll explain the candy issues. If I'm supposed to judge a candy by consistency alone (no thermometer), I'm in trouble. I always take the bubbling mixture off too soon or leave it for just a bit too long. I love pralines, and I've got the taste part down, but I've never quite been able to achieve the perfect mix of creamy and crunch. I tried, and failed, the other day to make two different varieties of pralines. The first didn't harden enough and the second burnt in the pan which was the most difficult dish I've ever had to clean. I had to soak it for five days. I would've thrown it out if it hadn't been one of my favorite pans.
To get my praline fix without having to mess with a very particular cooking time, I decided to turn to my trusty crockpot and just make cinnamon sugar pecans. I realize I'm posting two crockpot recipes in a row, but if you don't have one you really should invest. I use one that was $20 at the grocery store, and it's never let me down. These cinnamon sugar pecans are delicious and are PERFECT for the holidays. I bought a bag of pecans at Costco because nuts always strike me as ridiculously expensive. Other than that you will probably have all of the ingredients on hand.
Now, I know that stirring every 20 minutes seems like a hassle. I'd usually agree. However, I chose to sit in bed and catch up on scandal during the three hours of cooking. Every 20 minutes I'd press pause and go stir. A) It helped me justify three hours of Scandal ("I mean, I have to do something to occupy my time while the pecans are cooking.") B) It takes about 30 seconds total to get up and go give them a quick stir. Easy. As an added bonus, your house will smell amazing!
Slow Cooker Cinnamon Sugar Pecans
Recipe from The Recipe Critic
- 1¼ C. Sugar
- 1¼ C. Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp. Cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. Salt
- 1 Egg White
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 3 Cups Pecans
- ¼ C. Water
- Mix together in a large bowl sugars, cinnamon, and salt.
- In another bowl with a whisk, mix together the egg white and vanilla until it is frothy. Add the pecans and coat thoroughly. This will help the mixture stick to the pecans during the cooking process.
- Prepare your slow cooker by spraying it with cooking spray. I used a 4 quart. Add the cinnamon pecan mixture to the pecans and turn it to low. Stir until the cinnamon sugar mixture is coated well on the almonds. Be prepared for your house to smell amazing!
- You want to cook for about 3-4 hours. Mine took about 3. Stirring every 20 minutes. In the very last hour, add ¼ cup water and stir well. This will ensure a crunchy coating and help the mixture to harden.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the pecans onto the sheet to cool. The pecans should be pretty sticky so be sure to seperate them the best that you can and let them cool!
*These pictures don't really convey the deliciousness of these pecans, but it's because I was forced to sneakily take them in my office.