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My favorite classic candied pecan recipe is easy to make with 7 ingredients. Perfect as a gift or as a sprinkle on everything from salads to yogurt, casseroles, ice cream and more!
Raise your hand if you love candied pecans as much as I do! ♡
These sweet treats have always been a favorite of mine, especially during the holidays, and this This is the old-fashioned candied pecan recipe that I fell in love with years ago and have been making more times than I can count. Unlike my naturally sweet recipe maple candied pecans, this retro recipe shamelessly includes a thick and crunchy cinnamon sugar coating made from two types of sugar, plus the perfect hint of sea salt and cayenne pepper to balance the sweetness. And when baked until they're perfectly toasted and crunchy in the oven, I'm telling you, these candied pecans are absolutely irresistible.
I always like to make a few bundles at the end of the year to pass off as fun holiday gifts. But they taste great any time of year as a sweet snack, or sprinkled on everything from salads to yogurt, casseroles, baked sweet potatoes, ice cream and more. They're also incredibly easy to make with just 7 simple ingredients, the recipe is naturally gluten-free, and these candied pecans have the added bonus of making your home smell absolutely heavenly when baked.
I'm warning you now - if you start munching on these little guys, it's hard to stop. ♡ You will love them!
Recipe for candied pecans | 1 minute video
Ingredients of candied pecans:
Before we get to the full recipe below, here's the list of ingredients you'll need to make these easy candied pecans:
- Pecan nuts: Candied pecans are traditionally made with raw pecan halves, but you can also substitute them with coarsely chopped pecans if you prefer.
- Sugars: A combination of granulated sugar (white) and light brown sugar.
- Spices: A simple blend of ground cinnamon and ground cayenne pepper.
- Salt: I originally wrote this recipe using a teaspoon of table salt. But if you are using fine sea salt instead, I recommend using a full teaspoon.
- Egg white: And finally, we'll use a beaten egg white to bind the cinnamon sugar mixture to the pecans.
How to make candied pecans:
Full instructions for making pecans are detailed in the recipe below, but in a nutshell (sorry, I couldn't resist) ... here is the process for making candied pecans:
- Mix the sugar mixture with the cinnamon. First, we will whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper until combined.
- Toss the pecans. Then, in another bowl, we will combine the pecans and the beaten egg white until the pecans are evenly coated. Then add the cinnamon sugar mixture and stir again.
- Cook. When baking candied walnuts, it is important that they are spread in an even layer on the baking sheet. (So if your foil is not big enough, you may need to do it in two batches.) Cook the pecans for 40 minutes, stirring briefly halfway through, until fragrant. and the sugar coating is cooked.
- Cool. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire cooling rack and use all your willpower to Wait until pecans have cooled to room temperature. (They will continue to dry and harden as they cool.) Then serve and enjoy !!
Possible recipe variations:
Want to personalize this candied pecan recipe? Do not hesitate to ...
- Use different nuts: If pecans are not your favorite, you can also use this recipe to make candied nuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios or any other candied fruit. Just make sure to always start with raw nuts and adjust the cooking time as needed depending on the size / type of nuts.
- Use maple syrup: For more naturally sweet candied pecans, check out my maple candied pecans recipe.
- Use less sugar: If you want to reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe, feel free to use 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup packed brown sugar.
- Add more heat: I almost always double the amount of cayenne pepper in this recipe to make slightly spicier candied pecans, which I recommend if you want the nuts to have a more noticeable kick!
- Add different herbs or spices: Do not hesitate to also add other warming spices (such as cardamom, ginger, nutmeg or cloves) or some pumpkin pie spices if you want. Or finely chopped fresh rosemary or sage would also be delicious!
Ways to serve candied pecans:
Looking for ways to use up a big batch of candied pecans? Here are some of our favorite ways we love to enjoy this recipe at home:
- By them selves: Serve them on their own as a sugary treat or combine them with some of your other favorite snack ingredients to make a sweet and savory snack mix.
- In salads: These candied pecans are also an incredible sweet and crunchy addition to salads.
- In yogurt or ice cream: We also love to sprinkle them with yogurt for breakfast and ice cream for dessert.
- Sprinkled with potatoes or casseroles: They also make a great garnish for cooked sweet potatoes or a retro casserole of sweet potatoes.
- As a gift: Wrap these candied pecans in jars or candy boxes with a little cute kraft gift tags if you want to give them as a gift!
My favorite classic candied pecan recipe - easy to make with 7 ingredients and always irresistibly delicious!
- Prepare the oven and baking sheet. Heat the oven to 300 ° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- Mix the sugar mixture with the cinnamon. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper in a small mixing bowl and whisk until blended.
- Toss the pecans. In another large mixing bowl, add the pecans and beaten egg white and mix gently until the pecans are evenly coated. Add the sugar mixture and mix gently until the pecans are evenly coated.
- Cook. Spread the pecans in a single, even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, then remove the nuts and toss them briefly. Bake 20 minutes longer or until pecans are fragrant and sugar is cooked. (Note that the sugar coating will continue to harden and dry out after the pecans are out of the oven.)
- Cool. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire cooling grid and let the pecans cool to room temperature. Serve and enjoy immediately or transfer pecans to a sealed container to store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
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