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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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12 Days of Holiday Crafts, Day 5: Spiced Vanilla Pecans

 (Maggie Bullock)
(Maggie Bullock)

If you’ve been reading for very long, you know that I love food—making, giving, and eating food. Christmas time is, let’s face it, the time to eat and gift all kinds of delicious. There are a few standards that I make every year, one of which was introduced to me by my sister several years ago (thanks, Kathy!). I eat one and I can’t stop—these are dangerous and wonderful.

My favorite nuts are pecans, but mixed nuts can be easily substituted if you prefer.

Spiced Vanilla Nuts

1 pound pecans or mixed nuts
½ cup sugar
2 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Blanch the nuts in boiling water for 1 minute and drain well. While still hot, toss blanched nuts in the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Let them stand for 10 minutes. Arrange the nuts on a baking sheet in one layer and bake for about 30-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the nuts are golden. Combine spices and toss over nuts. Let cool in a single layer and store in an airtight container. (A jar works great for storage).

I like having a small bowl of Spiced Vanilla Nuts on the coffee table when friends drop in during the season. They’re quite popular--I've made four batches so far this season.


Artist and crafter Maggie Wolcott writes about craft events in and around Spokane, as well as her own adventures in creating and repurposing. Her DwellWellNW posts include project and decorating ideas, recipes, reviews of events, and interviews with local artists. Maggie spends her days as an English professor, and when she’s not grading papers, she can generally be found with a paintbrush or scissors in hand. She can be reached at