Cocoa Spice & Everything Nice

Looking to spice things up this Valentine’s Day? We have just the recipe you need! The inspiration for these candied pecans comes from a gelato shop in the heart of Escondido, CA.  My sister-in-law loves to frequent this gem when she’s in town from Colorado. The Mayan Chocolate is her go to. It’s a great combination of both chocolate and chili. I like to add a dash or two of cinnamon because I think it really helps round out the overall flavor.  If you like more of a kick, simply add more cayenne.  Eat these and you’re instantly hit with sweet chocolate followed by the spice and everything nice! It’s really a party in your mouth!

Cocoa Spice Candied Pecans

1/2 cup sugar
2 TBSP maple syrup
1 TBSP water
Dash of cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
3 cups Calianna Pecan Pieces (or halves if you prefer)

Line sheet pan with wax paper and set aside.  Combine all ingredients except pecans in a medium sized pot.  Heat over medium until sugar is dissolved. You’ll know the sugar is dissolved if you rub the liquid between your fingers and it is no longer grainy like sand (use caution as you don’t want to burn yourself).  Add pecans and stir continuously until all liquid is gone.  I use a wooden spoon for this. I found that it’s more gentle with the pecans and doesn’t break them into smaller pieces.  Pour onto your wax paper lined baking sheet and allow to cool.  Break any clumps apart before completely cooled.

Cocoa Spice Candied Pecans

Omit cinnamon or cayenne pepper if neither of these suits your palate.  You’ll end up with sweet chocolaty candied pecans.

Fill treat bags for Valentine’s Day or any special occasion.  I’ve even added them to a cheese board for home gatherings and they’re always a hit!  Seriously though…who doesn’t love a little something homemade?? Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram or Facebook to show us your sweet 'n' spicy creation!

Valentine Treat Bags