To make coated pecans, toss 1 pound of pecan halves with a lightly beaten egg white mixed with 1 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of water, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and then spread the pecans on a buttered baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour stirring occasionally. For best results, preheat the oven, and stir at least once every 15 minutes.
For a richer variation of this basic recipe, use vanilla extract in place of the water, and substitute 1/2 cup of brown sugar for 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar. For a spicier flavor reduce the cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon, and add 1/4 teaspoon each of allspice, ginger and nutmeg. Top salads, desserts and hot cereals with coated pecans, or eat for a snack. They store well in a tightly covered container and are suitable for gift giving.
For easier mixing, add the pecans to a large resealable plastic bag, pour in the coating and shake the bag to evenly distribute the topping. Lining the baking sheet with buttered aluminum foil helps reduce the mess when cooking coated pecans. For the crunchiest coated pecans, let the pecans cool all the way before storing them.