Easy Candied Pecans Recipe
This Easy Candied Pecans Recipe makes ridiculously crunchy, sweet, and salty candied pecans that hit all the right notes. This simple treat has just a hint of heat. The perfect snack, salad topper, or edible gift!
My Favorite Way to Make Candied Pecans
Homemade candied nuts are one of those timeless treats that are both easy to make and impressive. And while you can candy many kinds of nuts, my favorite is definitely pecans. Their sweet and buttery flavor makes them the ideal candidate for turning into compulsively snackable treats.
With the perfect balance of crunchy-salty-sweet, this easy candied pecans recipe also has a touch of heat thanks to the addition of cayenne pepper. Not a lot! Just enough to turn the flavor of these candied nuts into something truly irresistable.
Candied pecans are one of my favorite DIY holiday gift ideas, but they don’t need to be saved for the holidays. You can make them anytime and use them in all sorts of ways. I love adding them to strawberry salad dressed with a sweet red wine vinaigrette and sprinkled with these crunchy, crave-able nuts. Everyone LOVES it!
What You’ll Need
Besides the pecans, you’ll need just a few more common ingredients to make this recipe. Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- Cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- An egg white
- Pure vanilla extract
How to Make Candied Pecans
Are you ready to make the best candied pecans ever? It’s easy and here’s how to do it:
- Combine both sugars. To start out, whisk together the granulated and brown sugars, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Set aside.
- Whisk the egg white and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white and vanilla extract until the mixture is light and frothy.
- Coat the pecans in the exx mixture. Add the pecans to the frothy mixture and fold gently until the liquid coats the pecans evenly. This coating is the “glue” that holds the sugar mixture onto the nuts and creates a golden, crunchy crust, so do a thorough job!
- Add sugar. Then sprinkle the sugar mixture over the pecans. Fold gently until the sugar mixture sticks to every last nook and cranny of the pecans.
- Add to baking sheet. Spread the coated pecans out evenly on a large rimmed pan that’s lined with parchment paper.
- Bake. Finally, bake the nuts at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes total, folding every 15 minutes. The nuts will get more and more fragrant, and develop a beautiful crunchy crust.
The results are spectacular! The nuts are super crunchy, with fabulous flavor. I love that little hint of heat from the cayenne.
Tip for you! I recently purchased these pre-cut parchment paper sheets. And I’m now kicking myself for not trying them sooner. They come in a convenient flat package that’s easy to store in a cupboard or pantry. And they’re so easy to use. No more parchment paper rolls for me!!
How to Use Candied Pecans
Candied nuts are super versatile. Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy them:
- Snacking: At the very simplest, they make a delicious sweet and salty snack.
- Charcuterie: They’re a great addition to a cheese board or holiday charcuterie board.
- They are also a beautiful edible gift. Just package them up in little baggies or jars and attach a pretty ribbon. Who wouldn’t love that?!
- Cookies. Chop them up and toss them into a batch of chocolate chip cookie bars!
- Ice cream. Sprinkle them over scoops of butter pecan ice cream.
- Pancakes. Top your buttermilk pancakes with whipped cream and candied pecans.
- Like sweet potatoes? So do these candied pecans!
- Cake. Garnish this sweet little carrot cake.
- And – of course – top your salads. These nuts would be a beautiful addition to my Holiday Wild Rice Salad or this Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad. And of course, that strawberry salad I told you about!
Tips for the Best Candied Pecans
These nuts are super easy to make. Here are a few tips for the utmost success.
- Be sure to whip the egg white until it’s frothy. This will act like a glue to help the sugar mixture adhere. And then when the nuts are in the oven, it acts like a meringue to give you a sugary, crunchy exterior.
- Mix well. Fold the pecans with the frothy egg whites until you no longer see any dry spots on the pecans. This will ensure that the sugar mixture will stick to every bit of pecan surface.
Variety is the spice of life. Right? Here are some ideas to change things up.
- Any kind of nut is game with this recipe. Like walnuts, almonds, cashews, or pistachios. Or try a combination!
- Use all white sugar. Or all brown sugar.
- Delete the cayenne. Or add MORE!
- You could add a bit of smoky heat by using dried chipotle.
- Crack some freshly ground black pepper over the pecans.
- Add some cumin.
- Try some paprika.
- Wouldn’t some pumpkin pie spice be fun?!
How to Store Candied Pecans
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Or place them in an airtight container and freeze them for up to 2 months!
Like this recipe? Save it to Pinterest!
A few more nuts recipes for you!
- Rosemary Thyme Spiced Nuts
- Homemade Beer Nuts
- Honey Glazed Walnuts from Garnish & Glaze
- Maple Sesame Roasted Cashews from Fit Foodie Finds
- Coconut Almonds from Crazy for Crust
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. light brown sugar
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 large egg white
- 1 T. pure vanilla extract
- 1 lb. pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 300° F. Line large rimmed pan with parchment paper sheet and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt.
- In a large bowl, vigorously whisk egg white and vanilla until light and frothy.
- Add pecans to whisked egg white mixture, folding gently until pecans are completely coated.
- Pour sugar mixture over coated pecans and fold gently until all the mixture is adhered to the pecans.
- Spread coated pecans in an even layer on prepared baking pan.
- Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until pecans are fragrant and evenly browned, about 45 minutes total.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Serve as a snack or sprinkled over your favorite salads - these candied pecans are PERFECT with this Strawberry Salad!
adapted from allrecipes.com
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 152mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 13gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.