Roasted Or Toasted Pecans

Roasted pecans add flavor and crunch.
Toasted pecans add flavor and crunch.

Toasted pecans add flavor and crunch.

Some pecan recipes call for roasted pecans while a different recipe may call for toasted pecans.  Roasted or toasted pecans – What is the difference?  Toasting pecans before you bake them in a recipe brings out all the best flavors of the nuts.  Applying heat releases the oils in the pecans, which in turn intensifies their flavor, adds crispness, and tones down any bitterness.  Many times pecans bought in grocery store baking sections are dark and when tasted do have a bitter taste as they may not be fancy quality or be a couple years old.  For recipes that feature nuts, toasted nuts will add a lot of flavor with just a few extra minutes of effort.  Toasted nuts can also be used to garnish desserts. And, they are great for sprinkling over ice cream or yogurt.  Even try adding toasted nuts to salads or pasta!

Follow these simple steps for perfectly toasted pecans that will bring new life to your baking recipes.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and arrange the shelled pecans in a single layer .
  3. Bake the nuts, stirring once after five minutes and then again after another five minutes during cooking for even toasting.  Smaller nuts will toast faster than larger ones so adjust cooking time accordingly.  While the nuts will become lightly browned, the best gauge for proper toasting is smell.  When the nuts have become fragrant, they are ready.
  4. Once the nuts have finished toasting, transfer then to a plate or a towel to cool.  Try to use a cooling surface large enough to allow the nuts to spread out in a single layer.  Leaving the nuts on the hot pan will cause them to continue cooking.  Allow the pecans to cool to room temperature before using them in a baking recipe.  Using nuts that are too warm can affect the dough or batter you’re making.
  5. After nuts have cooled, use them immediately in your recipe.  The flavor of toasted nuts will dissipate over time so any unused nuts can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to a week.

Now let’s turn to roasting pecans.  Roasting nuts involve the addition of an oil to them.  It may be butter, margarine, olive oil or vegetable oil.  The added oil can enable sugar, salt, and various spices to cling to the nuts for lots of different flavors.  From sweet and  salty to hot and spicy.  Check out Sugar and Spice Pecans to try for your next celebration.  I can taste them now!

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