Commercially prepared pecans are often smothered in sugar. They taste fine, but the benefit of eating the pecans is negated by consuming all that sugar. Salted pecans taste great to me in small quantities, but I can’t eat a lot of them. But toasted mocha pecans are addictive. I could eat an entire bowl of them and never tire of the sweet, salty, not quite definable toasted mocha flavor that compliments the rich pecan flavor so well.
I think of mocha as a chocolatey-coffee flavor combination. These nuts are made with powdered espresso powder and cacao powder, yet they taste of neither one. Serve them to your family and friends, and ask them to guess the ingredients. Everyone will agree they taste great, but few can figure out the flavors.
I use coconut nectar plus a little stevia as the sweet base in this recipe. You can substitute honey or rice syrup or even maple syrup, although the flavor will be slightly different. For a richer chocolate flavor, add an extra teaspoon of coconut nectar, double the cacao powder and increase the espresso powder by half. You won’t taste the espresso powder, but it will strengthen and deepen the chocolate flavor.
Toasted Mocha Pecans
Sweet and salty mocha pecans are delicious for snacking, or try them chopped as a dessert topping.
1 1/2 pounds raw pecans (whole or pieces)
2 tablespoons coconut nectar
1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoons organic cacao powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, toss the pecans with the coconut nectar and stevia until thoroughly coated.
In a small bowl, mix the espresso and cacao powders and salt.
Dust the pecans with the cacao mix, and stir to blend completely.
Spread the pecans out on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the pecans are a dark brown color.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Break the pecans apart and store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a week.
Start with raw, unsalted pecans.
Toss the pecans with 2 tablespoons of coconut nectar until thoroughly coated.
Mix together the cacao and espresso powders and salt, and stir the mixture into the pecans.
Toast the coated pecans for 40 minutes in a 275 degree F oven. Cool, break apart and eat!