When a goodie emergency occurs, roast

It’s two days before Christmas, and a neighbor just unexpectedly showed up with a plate of cookies. You want to maintain cul-de-sac cordiality by responding, but you gobbled up the last of your homemade gingerbread men last night during a gift-wrapping frenzy.

They won’t see this treat coming. I make these pecans constantly, and they’re a delightfully savory alternative to sugar-drenched holiday goodies. The recipe is from my cookbook “Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home,” because it’s great year round.

Rosemary Garlic Pecans

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in the rosemary, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Place the pecans in a large bowl, then pour the butter mixture over the pecans and toss to coat the nuts thoroughly. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a rimmed nonstick baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times, until crisp and fragrant but not dark. Cool completely on the baking sheet, then store in an airtight container. Can be made up to 1 week ahead.

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