Mystery Fanfare. I've mentioned before that my worlds of crime fiction and chocolate often collide, and mystery author Margaret Maron falls into that collision. In celebration of the launch of her novel Christmas Mourning Margaret posted a recipe for one of her favorite Holiday Treats: Chocolate Covered Fried Pecans. Margaret kindly guest blogs today about her Chocolate Covered Fried Pecans today. Be sure and check out Christmas Mourning, her 16th Deborah Knott mystery. I know I'll be making Chocolate Covered Fried Pecans for the holidays. Thanks, Margaret.
Every fall, there's a running battle between the squirrels, jays, and crows as to who gets the bulk of our pecan harvest. If we find a pecan lying on the ground several hundred feet away from the tree, we know it's been dropped by one of the feathered thieves. When pulling up the geraniums and petunias of summer in order to plant fall pansies, if we find a nice fat pecan tucked among the geranium roots, we know it was planted there by a squirrel. Either way, we add it to the meager store they've left for us and supplement that pathetic harvest with bags of shelled nuts from the farmers market. Pecan halves fried in butter and lightly salted are a staple for the holidays, but I also like to drizzle on a little melted chocolate to add to the festive taste. Here's how it's still done in "Colleton County," the setting for Christmas Mourning, my 16th Deborah Knott mystery.
Chocolate Covered Fried Pecans
Melt half a stick of butter in a large iron frying pan. Add 2 cups pecan halves. Over moderate heat, stir constantly. Remove from heat before the nuts are completely toasted because they will continue to coof for another minute or two. Salt and chill.
Melt together chocolate chips, butter, and a tiny bit of paraffin. (Amounts depend on whether you want to thoroughly coat the nuts or use just enough to get the full contrast of sweet and salt, my preference.)
Line 2 large baking sheets with waxed paper. Spread the pecans on the waxed paper, one layer deep, and drizzle the chocolate over them. Chill. When hardened, break up into chunks and store in an airtight tin.