Santa’s Little Helper: Paprika Pecans That Take Five Minutes

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pecans holidayThe holidays are a time of avid snacking. Sugar cookies and coffee cakes are what you’ll usually find in my home come the holidays, but most families have their own coveted recipes come December. But while you’re figuring out what more complex recipes you want to serve come Christmas Day or Hanukkah, chances are that you’ll have to throw together some other snacks for the days in between. And as in-laws fly in and friends visit, you’ll want some holiday-esque treats on hand.

Other mothers may slave over getting their Christmas cookies out early or, dare I say, purchase some, but you can look crafty and homemade with this simple recipe. Just take about 20 or so pecans, dunk in a bit of vegetable oil, and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Then sprinkle very lightly with paprika. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for like three minutes — if that.

People have a tendency to overcook this recipe and you’ll know because the nuts will turn black. If that happens, start over. Let them stand for a minute or so and then throw into a festive bowl. Guests will take an obligatory bite as you offer, but you’ll soon find their hands permanently fixed to the bowl. When they ask you where you purchased such fabulous nuts, remind them that you made them.

Now get back to making those holiday cards.

(photo: Shutterstock)