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Published October 12, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
These easy-to-make candied pecans make for the perfect topping to any salad or dessert and are even great served as a sweet snack. You will love the flavors of this wonderful recipe and the simple ingredients used, and I promise it’ll be hard to put them down after you try them.
I love including nuts in my cooking to enhance the flavors and provide some different textures. Check out how I use almonds in my Peach Cobbler or pecans in my Zucchini Bread.
Candied pecans are encrusted with cooked or baked sugar to sweeten, cook, and provide texture. They are then commonly served in sweet or savory dishes they can even be eaten as a snack all by themselves. Pro Tip: They are especially good in nut mix, especially during the holiday season.
There are a couple of ways to make this easy candied pecans recipe, but I believe this is the best and the most fool-proof procedure that renders excellent, consistent results each time I make them and has just the right amount of sweetness. In addition, there are other ways to enhance the flavor of the pecans, like adding in other spices such as nutmeg, ground allspice, mace, or cardamom. Feel free to get creative with this recipe and serve it with dessert or as a salad topper.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Pecans – You will need pecan halves for this recipe.
- Egg Whites – One large egg white will work.
- Vanilla – Use a good vanilla extract in this.
- Sugar – I like the combination of regular white sugar and brown sugar for these candied pecans.
- Ground Cinnamon – This will add some awesome flavors.
- Salt – A little bit of sea salt will help balance out the flavors. You can also use kosher salt.
How to Make Candied Pecans
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon until combined. Set it aside.
Next, in a large-sized bowl, whisk together the egg white and vanilla until it becomes frothy. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes of vigorous continuous whisking.
Add the pecans to the bowl with the egg white mixture and fold together until completely combined.
Pour in the cinnamon sugar mixture and fold the ingredients together to combine.
Spread the pecans on a single layer on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 300° for 30 to 35 minutes.
Every 15 minutes until they are done cooking, stir the pecans around using a rubber scraper so that they cook evenly.
Let them cool at room temperature until they are completely cooled before serving or storing. They should have just the right amount of crunch outside and be tender in the center.
Easy Stovetop Instructions
If you do not have an access to a stove and want to cook this on your stovetop, don’t worry because it is possible to pull it off. Here is what you’ll need for ingredients:
- 1 cup of light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons of water
- 1 pound pecan halves
You can add the same amount of vanilla, salt, and cinnamon to this easy candied pecan recipe as well. Here is what you’ll need to do for procedures:
- In a large pan over medium-high heat, add the brown sugar, butter, and water and cook until it is boiling and becomes very thick, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in the pecans and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until the caramel sauce completely coats the pecans.
- Spread the pecans on a sheet tray lined with a rubber mat or parchment paper and cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make these up to 1 week ahead of time.
How to Store: Cover and store in an airtight container or mason jars at room temperature for 7 to 10 days. You can refrigerate them covered for up to 4 weeks. Cover and freeze the candied pecans for up to 3 months.
Chef Notes + Tips
- You can do this same process with walnuts, cashews, or almonds if you want to candy them.
- For a great simple snack, try serving this over the top with some ice cream.
- You can substitute the regular sugar for equal parts corn syrup or maple syrup.
- Take this easy recipe to the next level using pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon.
More Nut Recipes
Candied Pecans Recipe
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large egg white
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pound pecan halves
- Preheat the oven to 300°.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, and salt until combined. Set it aside.
- Next, in a large-sized bowl, whisk together the egg white and vanilla until it becomes frothy. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes of vigorous continuous whisking.
- Add the pecans to the bowl with the egg white mixture and fold together until completely combined.
- Pour in the sugar mixture and fold the ingredients together to combine.
- Spread the pecans on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 300° for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Every 15 minutes until they are done cooking, stir the pecans around using a rubber scraper so that they cook evenly. They should be slightly crunchy on the outside and al dente/tender on the inside.
- Let them cool at room temperature until they are completely cooled before serving or storing.
So easy and delicious!