Spicy bourbon pecans
At almost every celebration staged by The Catered Affair company, hot, spicy nuts sit on the bar. Guests scoop them up by the handful.
1 pound pecan halves
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon angostura bitters
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon corn oil
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Set the oven at 325 degrees. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Drop in the pecans, cook for 1 minute, then drain at once. Rinse the nuts with cold water and set them aside.
Pour the bourbon into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Let it bubble steadily until it reduces to 1/4 cup.
In a large bowl, combine the bourbon and sugar. Stir well until the sugar melts. Add the bitters, Worcestershire, and corn oil. Stir in the pecans and mix thoroughly.
Let the nuts sit for 10 minutes. Using a rimmed baking sheet, spread the nuts out in one layer. Bake them for 35 minutes, tossing them every 10 minutes or until all the liquid evaporates.
In a bowl, toss the hot pecans with the cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and black pepper. When all the nuts are coated with the seasoning, transfer them to the baking sheet. Let them stand for several hours until they are cool and dry.
Store the nuts in a tightly covered container for up to several days. Pack the nuts in small tins and attach a tag marked "store at room temperature" to each.
MAKES 1 POUND