cooking: missing link.

While trolling the aisles of the local mega-center an old friend screamed at me from the shelf desperate to be plucked and become part of our pantry - pecans.

As I held the bag in my hand I envisioned all the wonderful dishes this could become a part of - but one stood out like a beacon in my mind. Something I have been wanting to try, just had to find the right moment.

I just found it.

What a discovery and what a taste sensation! Just the right balance of sweet and savory it filled the house with such an aroma I wanted to have them cooking there forever, or figure out how to bottle this scent and release it when one is feeling blue.

Although my kids came down and asked what the yucky smell was the husband came in intrigued about what the smell was. Definitely for the more grown up type.

They came and left in a flash and I have visions of the next batch dancing in my head.
Maybe today.....

Rosemary and Thyme Candied Pecans

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons cane sugar
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme (dry okay, use same quantity)
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary (dry okay, use same quantity)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 pound pecan halves
Fleur de sel or other sea salt, to finish (optional)

Preheat an oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Line a standard half sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the maple syrup and cane sugar. Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the herbs, spices and salt.
Toss the pecans with the butter mixture in a large bowl, making sure to coat well. Spread nuts in a single layer on the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven, turning half way, until the nuts are glazed and shiny with a deep golden colour, around 15/20 minutes. Upon removing from the oven, sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel if using and stir again.
Cool completely, then store in an airtight container.
Makes 1 pound.

**thank you to seven spoons and nigella for the introduction to these beauties. a friend forever was made here.

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