Spicy Vanilla Pecans

Source: Viking Cooking School - Cocktail Party class 2006
adapted by http://theresalwaysthyme.blogspot.com/
makes 1 pound

1 (4-inch) vanilla bean
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste, I added more!)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 quarts water
1 pound pecan halves
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil (grapeseed or canola)

Preheat oven to 325ºF.
For the seasoning mixture: Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into a small bowl. Add the salt, cayenne, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, stirring to combine. Set aside until needed.

n a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the pecans and boil for 1 minute. Drain the nuts well; immediately place them in a bowl and toss with the sugar and oil. Let the sugar-coated nuts stand for 10 minutes.

Arrange the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, turning every 5 to 10 minutes until the nuts are light brown and very crisp. Remove from the oven.

While the pecans are still very hot, place them in a clean bowl and toss with the seasoning mixture. Spread in a single layer to cool.

Serving Suggestion: These nuts are delicious served by themselves as a snack or served over ice cream with caramel sauce. Wonderful for gift-giving!

Make It Ahead: The pecans may be prepared up to one week in advance and stored in an airtight container.

Variation: Substitute walnut halves for the pecans.