* To make caramelized pecans, in small heavy saucepan, heat 1/4 cup sugar over medium-high heat for 4 minutes or until sugar melts, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup pecan halves; stir until coated. Remove from heat. Pour onto waxed paper. Cool completely; break apart.
Pecans are native American nuts that grow on a species of hickory tree. Rich and buttery in flavor, they're prized for their taste and texture. Most pecans are grown in the southern United States, with Georgia the leading producer. Pecans have a fat content of more than 70%, higher than any other nut. Because of this high fat content, store pecans carefully to prevent them from becoming rancid. Store unshelled pecans in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to six months. Store shelled pecans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three months or in the freezer for up tp six months.