Quick and easy stovetop Candied Pecans are the perfect sweet and crunchy snack. Top them over your favorite salad, or even gift them for the holidays.
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Candied Pecans Recipe Details
These Candied Pecans are simple, yet so scrumptious. I love how versatile they are, perfect for salads, desserts, or even as a gift.
- TASTE: These treats are sweet, buttery, and nutty. They have a delicious balance of flavors.
- TEXTURE: The pecans are tender on the inside, but the outside is crunchy with a shell of caramelized brown sugar.
- TIME: This is super quick, only taking about 6 minutes to make.
- EASE: These Candied Pecans are so easy, you can make them with almost no effort at all.
What You’ll Need
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Add some spice- If you like the combination of spicy and sweet, add some cayenne pepper to the pecans for a little kick.
- Substitute white sugar- This is commonly used to make Candied Pecans and works just as well. Brown sugar adds a richer flavor, but for sweetness, white sugar is fine, too.
- Add egg whites- This can be used as a binder to hold the sugar and spices to the Candied Pecans. If you are adding powers, like cayenne, cinnamon, etc., this is helpful.
- Substitute another nut- While pecans are a favorite, this recipe works for lots of other nuts, such as walnuts, peanuts, almonds, and more.
How to Make Candied Pecans
- Combine the ingredients. Take out a medium-sized saucepan and add in the pecans, butter, and golden brown sugar.
- Caramelize the pecans. Bring the heat to medium and allow the butter to melt. When the brown sugar begins to dissolve and caramelized, take it off the heat. I like to lay the pecans flat on a sheet of parchment paper to cool.
Pro Tip: Keep an eye on the caramelization, being careful to take the pecans off the heat before the sugar begins to burn.
- Choose raw pecans- These are not toasted or roasted, so they will be softer and absorb more flavor. They will also be less likely to burn since they have not been pre-cooked.
- Use chopped or halved pecans- The smaller the pieces, the more surface area they will have. This means they will get even more coating of butter and sugar for a sweeter nut.
- Be careful they don’t burn- Butter and sugar can burn pretty quickly, so keep an eye on the pecans. As soon as everything has dissolved and they begin to caramelize, cut the heat.
- Separate them to cool- To avoid the pecans clumping together as they cool, lay them out on parchment paper and separate them to cool individually.
The outside of the candied pecans should be hard and crunchy, almost brittle like. If they are more sticky, that probably means the sugar didn’t reach a high enough temperature during the caramelization process.
Praline pecans are a type of candied pecan that uses dairy, such as milk, cream, or evaporated milk, in addition to the sugar and butter.
These homemade Candied Pecans can be eaten on their own or used as a topping. Here are some delicious ways to serve them.
- Salads: Add them to your favorite salads, such as Spinach Pomegranate Salad or Broccoli Cranberry Salad Recipe.
- Cheese board: These Candied Pecans are a great addition to a platter like this Charcuterie Board (Cheese Board) VIDEO. Or try it with this Farmer’s Cheese.
- Dessert: Top your favorite desserts with these nuts. Try them with Nutella Cake, Pumpkin Cheesecake (VIDEO), or Easy Ube Ice Cream.
Make These Candied Pecans in Advance
Make ahead: You can make these weeks in advance as long as you store them in an airtight container to keep them from going stale.
Storing: For best taste and freshness, store these tasty snacks in an airtight container, such as a glass mason jar or a vacuum-sealed plastic container. They will keep for 2-3 weeks at room temperature.
Freeze: If you place these Candied Pecans in an airtight container in the freezer, they will last for over 18 months.
More Deliciously Nutty Dishes!
Full Recipe Instructions
- Place 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, 2 Tbsp golden brown sugar, and 1 cup of pecans into a medium saucepan.
- Bring the heat to medium and stir all the ingredients together.
- Once you see the sugar begin to dissolve and bubble, remove it from the heat. This should take a few minutes.
- Carefully transfer the hot candied pecans onto a sheet of parchment paper to cool.