12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2¼ cups sugar
3 tablespoons freshly ground black peppers
1¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1¼ teaspoons ground allspice
1¼ teaspoons ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch ground cardamom
2 large egg whites
2 pounds raw pecan halves
Preheat oven to 325°F.
In a large bowl, stir together the butter, sugar, pepper, salt, and spices. Add the egg whites and mix well. Add the pecans and mix thoroughly to coat well.
Spread the spice-coated nuts in a large roasting pan. Roast for 18 to 25 minutes, or until they are toasted through, turning every 5 minutes or so with a spatula.
Remove from the oven and continue turning every 5 minutes until the nuts reach room temperature.
The peppered pecans will keep in airtight containers for 4 to 6 weeks.
MAKES 8 TO 10 CUPS
White Bean Spread with Garlic and Rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 (16 ounce) can white beans, undrained
Place olive oil, garlic and rosemary in a 10-inch skillet. Heat pan until ingredients start to sizzle. Add beans and their liquid to the pan. As beans cook, mash them with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Cook until mixture is a loose spread consistency (it will thicken as it cools). Transfer to a serving bowl or storage container.
Alton Brown's Hot Cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly. In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water.
Fill your mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine. Seal the rest in an airtight container, keeps indefinitely in the pantry. This also works great with warm milk.
** Note, the ratio of half water half mix is very strong. Good for an indulgence but really too much for every day, I think. Adjust to your own taste.