Chili Molasses Pecans

Chili molasses pecans

Every Christmas, I make gingerbread people. Gingerbread people require molasses, but of course my recipe uses slightly less than a standard carton of molasses. I’ve struggled for years (years, I tell you!) about what to do with the leftovers, and I’ve finally figured it out.

Chili molasses pecans.

They’re spicy, smoky, and sweet. And since there’s a pecan hiding under all that tastiness, they’re also quite good for you.

What you need:

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 ancho chilies, de-seeded and chopped
2 cups pecans
1/4 cup molasses

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 250F.

Combine sugar, water and chilies in a pot and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the pecans to the pot, and stir until they’re all coated. Simmer the mixture for 10 minutes.

Drain the pecans and spread them in a single layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 45 minutes at 250F until they’re dry.

Transfer the pecans to a bowl. Pour the molasses over the nuts, and stir until they’re evenly coated. Put the mixture back on the parchment-lined cookie sheet, and bake for another 45 minutes at 250F until they’re dark brown but not burnt.

Be careful! It’s a fine line between smoky tastiness and burnt grossness. If you’re in doubt, sample a pecan at the 40 minute mark.


2 Responses to “Chili Molasses Pecans”

  1. Posted on January 24th, 2009

    The anchos sound like a great addition. I’ve had candied pecans, smoky pecans, and probably even spicy pecans, but never all at once. Can’t wait to give this one a whirl.

    What do you think about using maple syrup instead of sugar? That might be too much of a good thing…

  2. Posted on February 6th, 2009

    I think I’d incorporate the maple syrup at the end, as a half-and-half mixture of maple syrup and molasses. That would be tasty. I’ll try it and let you know!

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