Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Sep 24, 2007 08:56 PM

Homemade Sahale Snacks -- Valdosta Pecans

Hi there--
Does anyone have a recipe to make a snack mix like the Sahale Brand mix called Valdosta Pecans? It has pecans, cranberries, black pepper, and orange zest. Very yummy but also expensive to keep the teenager's tummy full.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm looking for the recipe also. It couldn't be hard. My parents have a dozen pecan trees that will be harvested after Christmas and I would like this recipe to enjoy. Recently I purchased the Sahale item at Costco. 15oz for $9.99. It seems like the nuts are toasted/roasted with a light syrup and black pepper is added along with dried cranberries and orange. Please let me know if you have any success.

    1. I too have been looking for a recipe, but in my frustration tried my own.

      I started small not knowing how it would go.

      I melted 1 TBLS of butter and added about a tsp of fresh orange zest.
      I tossed that with 1 cup of pecans and spread the pecans on a baking sheet. (I use parchment when baking so I used it for the pecans too.)
      In a separate bowl I mixed 1 TBLS brown sugar, 1 tsp coarse ground pepper and 1/4 tsp sea salt. I sprinkled that over the nuts, then baked in the oven @ 250 for about an hour. I stirred the nuts every 10-15 min.
      When they were completely cool I mixed with 3/4-1 cup dried cranberries.

      The mistake I made was in thinking I didn't have enough pepper on them, so I did add more after the 1st stir... it's hard to tell how much is on there when the pecans are warm and I added too much.

      I might try my next batch by tossing the pecans in a mixture of simple sugar (made with brown sugar) and butter, but I'm pretty satisfied with these.

      The original Valdosta Pecans does not list butter in the ingredients, but rather something called Tapioca Syrup.

      Good luck and please let me know if/when you improve on this.

      11 Replies
      1. re: clwseattle

        I've got a package sitting on the counter, waiting for me to try to duplicate. I've been tempted to just eat them, but I must resist in the name of science.

        I was thinking I'd try to make a peppery zesty simple syrup, and then toss to coat the pecans and cranberries and bake a bit. I'm guessing the tapioca is just a starch thickener to get a heavier, glossier coating on the nuts.

        The subtle bit will be extracting the zest oils from the orange peel; a water-based syrup is unlikely to work; perhaps a soak in a wee bit of vodka? Or perhaps just mix the shaved zest with some granular sugar to pull out the oils via capillary action.. or just cheat with some commercial essential oil.

        1. re: GravySpider

          Good idea... but I don't think the cranberries are tossed with anything or baked... I think they are added to the pecans anfter they have been prepared.

          1. re: clwseattle

            Thank goodness you all are out there trying. Please keep the posts coming. I'll be cracking some pecans this weekend and would love to try the recipe.

            1. re: MAYBELLINE

              I've tried Again! This time I expanded on GravySpider's idea of a simple syrup.

              I strained the pulp out of 2 TBLS of ORANGE JUICE and combined it in a pan with 1 TBLS of BUTTER and 2 TBLS of BROWN SUGAR and a couple scrapings of FRESH ORANGE ZEST.. When it was melted and a smooth hot syrup, I removed it from the heat, added a cup of PECANS and tossed to coat. Instead of just dumping the entire thing onto a baking pan, I removed the pecans with a slotted spoon, letting the excess syrup drain back into the pan. I added more nuts until I used all the syrup. I ground some SEA SALT and some PEPPER over them and baked at 250 for about an hour, tossing every 10-15 min. Again, I used parchment on my baking sheet.

              I noticed in tasting them when I was supposed to be tossing them that the pepper was very strong and I was worried that the syrup would prevent the nuts from crisping up, but after they finished cooking and cooled completely , they were perfectly toasted. I added the cranberries and VOILA!... not a perfect match (yet!) but great tasting and quite similar

              My problem seems to be with the salt and pepper... I can't quite get it right. Also, I think this last batch needed just a touch more orange flavor. I've been gentle with the amount of zest I've been adding and intend to be more agressive next time around.

              Good luck and please post your experiments and results.

              1. re: clwseattle

                Wow, thanks for sticking to this task!! This recipe does sound like it should work. Did you toast your pecans before you put them in the syrup and then again after they were dipped, or did you use raw pecans? My son and I will try to tackle this recipe and will report back on how it turns out.

                1. re: bards4

                  LOL! I took those pecans right out of the Costco bag, Bards! I can't wait to hear how yours turned out and how/if you tweaked it!

                2. re: clwseattle

                  OK, first--thanks for being the ONLY people on the web to tackle this recipe! I've searched everywhere after becoming addicted to these and wanting to make some for Christmas gifts. After reading all of your comments, and knowing that I LOVE orange flavor, I decided to soak the pecans in some Patron Citronge fine orange liqueur (like cointreau only better.) It didn't take much, I put a whole 2 lb bag of Costco pecans in a bowl and drizzled the Patron over it, then tossed. I repeated clwseattle's recipe, only x8, and with these additions: some fine ground white pepper in the syrup, one teaspoon of Penzy's orange extract, and a T of Mexican vanilla. I did an entire orange zested, as was suggested to amp up the orange.
                  My initial batch is now waiting for parchment paper to come from the grocery store (thanks to my hubby!), but not being the patient type I dunked a handful of nuts in the syrup, strained them, cracked sea salt and pepper over them and put them in the microwave to roast for 90 sec. Let me tell you----YUMMMMM!!! Needed more salt and a bit more pepper, but initial results are quite similar to the Sahale ones. Will report back when final product is done!

                  1. re: KirstenLyn

                    i'm looking forward to it! thanks for reporting, kirsten!

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Ok, testing complete and distributed for consumption! My 8x recipe for the butter/juice/sugar did 4 lbs of nuts. The hour long roasting did wonders for the sauce turning crunchy on the almonds. I did up the oven temp to 275 for the last 15 minutes. Tossed the hot sticky nuts into the cranberries (after cracking sea salt and pepper over them) and then mixed with tongs. Laid it all out on wax paper to cool. Delicious! My only problem thus far is that storing them in tins made them sticky again, although ones left out in a bowl did fine. Definitely close to the flavor, though! They were a hit with our family and friends!

                      1. re: KirstenLyn

                        sounds like success! congratulations. i'd eat way too many, i'm afraid!

                3. re: MAYBELLINE

                  Hi Maybelline!
                  Thanks so much for your determination. I picked up a bag of these and became immediately addicted. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find them at my local Costco again. Sooooo - I took your recipe and VOILA! Yummy! I did make a few adjustments that I thought I would share with you. When I did my first batch, I found that baking them at 250 caused the pecans to roast and almost had an overcooked taste. On the second batch, I simply threw the nuts into the syrup (which I had added the pepper to) and cooked them for a few minutes that way. Then threw the cranberries in for about 30 seconds so they too were covered in the syrup which helped the pecans and cranberries stick together. I dumped all out on the parchment and then added salt. I let them sit for 10 minutes and they were perfect. Much faster and easier than baking/turning.


            When you all figure out the recipe, give this amazing pie a go!

            1. this thread may give you some ideas:
              or maybe this fabulous recipe can be adapted with your desired flavors:

              1. I love them too, but during a boring evening last week, I came up with the most wonderful substitution. Like the Valdosta pecans, they are sweet & peppery & utterly dangerous. I used almonds, because they are my favorite and I had a lot of them, but I think any nut would do. Be sure to make a lot, because they will disappear sooner than you think. All the ingredients are simple and, with the exception of the vanilla, are easily found in your cupboard or grocery store. You will want to purchase the brand name product "Sugar In The Raw". This specific brand is readily available at all grocery stores and has a large, chunky granule (which you need) as opposed to generic raw sugar which is very fine. The only ingredient that you may not find at your grocery store is Mexican vanilla. If you use a regular vanilla, you will be wasting ingredients, time and money. You need Mexican vanilla to make these nuts truly extraordinary. Mexican vanilla is completely different from what you get at the store. It is a cheaper product, so you need to use a little more than usual. It has a richer, sweeter, almost pipe tobacco-like aroma, and the taste is simply out of this world. You'll wonder how you ever got along without it. Find a bodega or a store in your area that stocks Mexican products - they will have it. After spending a little time in the oven, the distinct flavors in the Mexican vanilla will echo the flavors of the spicy black pepper and molasses-like flavor of the raw sugar. It is inexpensive and found at any bodega, so go and get it!

                Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat if you have one. Make a simple syrup: gently heat 1/2 c water & 1/2 c sugar until fully dissolved. Once the syrup has cooled, add 1 Tablespoon of the Mexican vanilla (yes, Tablespoon - you need to use more Mexican vanilla than conventional vanilla). In a bowl, pour cooled vanilla syrup over 4 cups raw almonds (or your nut of choice) and toss until coated. In another large bowl, combine 1.5 cups "Sugar In The Raw" with 1/4 teaspoon kosher/coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper. Add all the wet nuts into the bowl at once and stir with a spoon or your hands until the nuts are well coated with the salty sugar/pepper mixture. Spread out on the sheet and place in oven for anywhere from 10 minutes onward, afterwards checking every 2 or 3 minutes or so, based on your preference. Let cool and enjoy. They are sublime.