Spiced Pecans

I whipped up a little “snack food”, combining some flavors that I’ve been meaning to  make for at least two years now. What I really want to make is a walnut-espresso tart (with a hint of chocolate), but I really have no opportunity to do so. Plus, I want to nail down the flavors before committing to a large tart! So, I ended up toasting a cup of pecans to which were added a mixture of one tablespoon unsalted butter, half a teaspoon espresso powder, a good teaspoon of cocoa powder, a few drops vanilla, and half a teaspoon of white sugar. After toasting in a 325-350F oven for about 20 spiced-pecansminutes(stirring halfway through), I sprinkled them with white sugar while they were still hot and vulnerable, as Emeril says. The pecans had a great taste – sweet and chocolatey – but not as strongly of coffee as I wanted. I wanted the dominant flavors to be toasted nut and coffee, so I think that next time I’ll add much more espresso powder and no sugar until the final dust. If take two ends up much better, maybe then I’ll be ready for the tart!

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