Candied pecans. Made with sugar and spice—specifically cinnamon and nutmeg—and everything nice, these sublime noshes are a must for holiday cocktail parties as well as for salads.
Candied pecans. The very mention sorta makes you stop whatever you’re doing and get in the holiday spirit, doesn’t it? Salty yet sweet, crisp yet tender, and confoundingly impossible to stop eating at just one handful. They’re blanketed in sugar and spice and everything nice, which is evident the moment you taste them. So much so that folks are saying they’re “Irresistible” and “The perfect combination of sweet, salt, spice, and crunch.” and “We. Can. NOT. Stop. Eating. Them.” and “Absolutely perfect.” Every once in a while a recipe comes along that captures the hearts and fetishes of our recipe testers and readers. This is one of those recipes. Sorta makes you want to try them, eh? Originally published December 11, 2015.–Renee Schettler Rossi
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 1 H, 15 M
- Makes about 5 cups
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tablespoon water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pound raw pecan halves
- 1. Preheat the oven to 250°F (121°C). Butter a rimmed baking sheet.
- 2. In a bowl, beat the egg white, vanilla, and water just until very frothy. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the pecans to the egg-white mixture and gently toss to coat. Transfer the nuts to the sugar mixture and toss to coat. Spread the nuts evenly on the baking sheet.
- 3. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes. Watch the pecans carefully during the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking for doneness. The nuts should be a lovely golden brown, crunchy, and evenly coated with the hardened sugar coating when they come out of the oven. Store the pecans in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks. [Editor’s Note: Hah! 2 weeks. We defy you to get them to last past the first night. But if you hide some, as we did, and manage to ignore their siren call, as we did, you’ll find them just as tempting at 2 weeks old as you did the very first day.]
- Cayenne Candied Pecans
- When combining the sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, add a dash of cayenne pepper to the dry ingredients. Proceed with the recipe as written.
- Candied Walnuts
- Swap walnuts for the pecans. Proceed with the recipe as written.