Candied pecans can be used a variety of ways, but whether you add them to salads, eat them alone as snacks, or cover them in chocolate for a sweet treat, they are scrumptious. This recipe roasts the pecan to perfection and is combined with a sweet mixture for a fresh take on the sweetened nuts. Feel free to use this recipe for other candied nuts such as almonds, walnuts or cashews.
- 2 1/2 cups pecan halves
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Put pecans and oil in a flat baking pan; stir until pecans are coated. Roast in 300F oven 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool.
- Combine sugar, cinnamon, salt, and water in a saucepan; cook, stirring consistently, over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
- Boil to 236F of a candy thermometer, or to soft ball stage.*
- Remove from heat; blend in vanilla. Add pecans and stir until mixture is creamy.
- Turn out onto waxed paper and use a fork to separate pecans.
*To Test for Soft Ball Stage
A small amount of syrup dropped into chilled water forms a ball but is soft enough to flatten when picked up with fingers (234F to 240F).
Cooking Tips and Ingredient Substitutions
Candied pecans can be enhanced to add spice, sweet or anything in between. Toss these with cranberries to mix in some tart flavor. Add some pumpkin spice or cloves for an aromatic addition to the smoky flavor of the roasted pecans. Serve them in a cellophane bag secured with a bow and a name tag for a sweet gift for any friend, family member or co-worker. You may also consider placing them in festive tin cans with tissue paper for a gift that stays fresh in the resealable airtight container. Mason jars are another good way to store candied pecans.
Candied Pecan Uses
Candied pecans are used to top pecan pies, but they can also be used to top sweet potato casserole, as well as served with soft cheeses such as brie, gorgonzola or blue cheese. You could also make a sweet breakfast sandwich by combining crispy cooked bacon and Havarti cheese with candied pecans between cinnamon toast. Add a fried egg for more protein.
Candied Pecan Storage
Candied pecans can be kept at room temperature, but need to be stored in an airtight container. They will last up to 2-3 weeks if sealed properly. In a refrigerator between 32 and 40F, again in an airtight container, pecan storage life increases dramatically, to between eight to ten months. If frozen, and maintained in an airtight container, candied pecans will keep anywhere from 18 months to 2 years. That at room temperature. As this recipe does not use eggs, these candied pecans can be thawed and re-frozen. This is not the case for recipes that use eggs in the candied pecan recipe.