Up to two weeks ahead: Heat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, toss together the salt, cayenne, white pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Add the pecans and toss well. Drizzle the melted butter over the pecans and mix well. Turn out onto a rimmed baking sheet, scraping any spices and butter from the bowl and spreading the nuts into one layer. Bake until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Drizzle the maple syrup over the nuts, stir to combine, and bake about 10 minutes longer, until the nuts turn glossy and slightly dark. Let the nuts cool in the pan for 30 minutes and then scrape the nuts and any maple drippings into a bowl; break up any large clusters. Reserve 2 cups of the nuts; chop the remainder very coarsely. Label and store the chopped nuts (for the stuffing) and the whole nuts (for nibbling) separately in the freezer in zip-top bags.
nutrition information (per serving):
per 1/4 cup;
sat fat g
Photo: Ben Fink