Yesterday, I tweeted asking what time everybody typically ate Thanksgiving dinner. Surprisingly, an overwhelming number of people told me they started the big meal sometime between noon and 2 pm. That seems so early to me! Do you still eat a smaller dinner at your regular meal time, and treat the Thanksgiving feast as your lunch? Or do you just graze throughout the rest of the day?
I think I’m going to serve our dinner around 4, if for no reason other than the fact that I’d like to take my time in the morning rather than rushing to get the turkey in the oven. Instead of serving the meal early, I plan on setting out some appetizers like these candied nuts for people to snack on in the afternoon.
I made these pecans three times. Actually, they were originally almonds. But my first two attempts were disastrous, and I ran out of almonds. Turns out they are just as delicious, if not more so, as pecans.
My first attempt called for melted butter, cocoa powder and malt powder. No matter how long I baked them, the coating wouldn’t dry out. I ended up with a mass of nuts that were simultaneously gooey and burnt.
For my second attempt, I used much less butter and replaced the malt powder with a collection of spices. These were delicious, but the topping ended up as a light dusting on the nuts and a pile of loose sugar and spices.
Finally, finally I switched out the butter for an egg white for the pecan batch. Success! The sugar caramelized and clustered on the nuts, giving them a crisp and crunchy coating. Sweet and a little spicy, these will make a great appetizer or post-dinner snack.