1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large egg whites
3 tablespoons bourbon
3 cups pecan halves
Preheat oven to 300 F. Mix the sugar, salt, orange zest and cayenne in a small bowl.
Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form (they should curl over when beaters are lifted). Beat in the bourbon.
Fold in the pecans with a rubber spatula until well-coated. Add sugar mixture and fold to coat well.
Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Coating will foam up but will stir down, and pecans will become crisp and separate as they bake.
Remove from oven. Cool and break apart individual nuts. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Makes 3 cups.