Candied pecans recipe - A Dish of Daily Life (2024)

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This quick and easyCandied Pecans Recipeis perfect for snacking, topping salads, or gifting during the holiday season. The combination of caramelized sugar, warm cinnamon, and toasty pecans is one of my favorite holiday recipes that I eat all year long.

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This candied pecans recipe is one of my favorite treats. It has just the right amount of sweetness but the great nutritional benefits of raw nuts.

And I use them all the time.

I add coated pecans to my favorite salads. They are especially good on thisGreen Salad with blueberries.

Serve them on your favorite ice cream or as a brownie topping.

Or my most favorite way is to just eat a small bowl of these for my afternoon snack. A bowl of candy pecans and an orange is the perfect snack!

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What are Candied Pecans?

Candied pecans are pecan halves coated in a blend of caramelized sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. The result is a treat with a perfect balance of sweetness and crunch.

This recipe lets you make them with basic ingredients and no candy thermometer needed. And you still get great results every time.

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What ingredients are in Candied Pecans Recipe?

  • Sugar: Forms the sweet and crispy coating on the pecans.
  • Ground Cinnamon: adds a classic warm and spicy flavor.
  • Cream of Tartar: keeps the crystals in the sugar coating small so you don’t get big clumps of raw sugar
  • Boiling Water: Combines with sugar to make the base for the candied coating.
  • Pecan Halves: The star of the show, these raw pecans have a rich, buttery flavor and satisfying crunch.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds a hint of sweetness and depth of flavor.

Pro Tip:Be sure to use pecan halves and not pieces. While pieces will work, they aren’t as beautiful in this sugared pecans recipe, and they are harder to make an even layer.

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How to Make Candied Pecans Recipe:

  1. Combinesugar and candy ingredients andbringto a boil over medium heat.
  2. Simmeruntil sticky and well combined.
  3. Removefrom heat,stirpecans into cinnamon sugar mixture, thenlet coolfor a few minutes.
  4. Addvanilla,mixingso you have an even coating on each nut.
  5. Spreadcandies pecans on a prepared baking sheet in a single layer, separating the clumps.
  6. Coolthenserveorstore.

Pro Tips:Use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to line your baking sheet for easy removal and cleanup.

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Are Candied Pecans Recipe Gluten-Free?

Yes, this candied peacans recipe is gluten-free! It is a great recipe to serve to your friends with dietary restrictions. It also makes great gifts!

How Long Do Candied Pecans Recipe Last?

Candied pecans will last in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. But I never have them last that long. They are such a sweet snack that a large bowl of these is gone in a day or two.

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Are Candied Pecans Recipe Healthy?

While candied pecans are not necessarily healthy (they have been candied), they are a great option since candied pecans are full of healthy fats and good protein. If eaten in moderation, they are a perfect sweet treat to satisfy any craving.

Can You Freeze Candied Pecans Recipe?

Yes you can freeze candied pecans! If you have a huge batch you really cannot eat, feel free to put these in a freezer safe container. When you pull them out of the freezer, spread them on parchment paper so they thaw crunchy and do not get soggy in the bag.

Pro Tip:If you really have more of this candied pecan recipe than you can eat, put them in a mason jar with a bow and give them to your neighbors. A bag of caramelized pecans makes perfect last-minute gifts for happy holidays or any time you want to say hello to your neighbors.

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Can you use different nuts in this Candied Pecans Recipe?

Yes you can use different nuts in this candied pecans recipe! But if you do, do not call them “pecans.”

Call them whatever kind of nut you choose to use. I really like using walnuts and cashews.

Can you use brown sugar to make Candied Pecans Recipe?

Yes you can use brown sugar to make candied pecans! I prefer using white sugar because it lets the flavors of the nuts, cinnamon, and vanilla really shine through.

However, these are also delicious when made with brown sugar. Brown sugar is just white sugar mixed with molasses, so it will give you a deeper flavor and a darker molasses taste to your nuts.

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What to Serve with Candied Pecans Recipe:

You can serve so many things with candied pecans. I like to sprinkle them on salads, ice cream, or enjoy as a standalone snack for my sweet tooth. Pair them with cheese and fruit for a delightful appetizer or part of your charcuterie board.

Are Candied Pecans Recipe Good for You?

At my house, candied pecans are good for you. I always encourage delicious recipes with protein to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The protein helps you feel fuller longer so you feel the need to indulge less. Besides, pecans provide healthy fats and essential nutrients, so candied flavored pecans are a great snack.

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Additional Pecan Recipes You’ll Love…

Whether you are looking for an easy recipe with simple ingredients or you need some homemade holiday gifts, this candied pecans recipe has the perfect amount of sweetness and is an easy way to make something delicious in your kitchen.

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Candied Pecans

Yield: 6 Servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 18 minutes

Indulge in the sweet crunch of our Candied Pecans Recipe! Perfect for snacking or elevating your favorite dishes like salads and sweet potatoes!


  1. Stir together the sugar, cinnamon, cream of tartar, and boiling water in a small saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Continue to cook at a slow boil over medium heat for about 8 minutes or so, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove saucepan from heat, and stir in pecans.
  5. Add vanilla, and continue to stir until pecans are evenly coated.
  6. Pour pecans onto a sheet of parchment paper.
  7. Separate nuts that have clumped together with a fork.
  8. Let cool.
  9. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 621Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 74gFiber: 5gSugar: 69gProtein: 5g

Originally Posted on Life Currents, posted with permission.

Originally Posted: December 11, 2015

Photos & Text Updated: December 23, 2023

Candied pecans recipe - A Dish of Daily Life (2024)


Candied pecans recipe - A Dish of Daily Life? ›

Stir them every 10 minutes or so to avoid them clumping together, or you can just break them apart with a spatula or your hands later. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

How do you keep candied pecans from sticking together? ›

Stir them every 10 minutes or so to avoid them clumping together, or you can just break them apart with a spatula or your hands later. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

How long do candied pecans keep? ›

How long will candied pecans keep? They will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container at room temperature, at least three weeks in the refrigerator, or up to two months in the freezer. No matter where you store them, keep in a tightly sealed, airtight container.

Why are my candied pecans soggy? ›

Why are my candied pecans soft and sticky? If your pecans are soft, it's most likely because they weren't baked long enough and are still retaining moisture. The sugar needs to bake long enough to caramelize and form a brittle coating on the nuts.

How to make candied pecans less sticky? ›

Salt: 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt makes these taste salty-sweet. If you'd prefer to not taste the salt, reduce to 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Pecans too sticky: If your nuts are still sticky after cooling, heat your oven to 325° F and bake for 5 to 10 minutes to help harden the candy coating.

Why do you soak pecans before roasting? ›

Wet pecans allow the salt to stick easily to the nuts. Plus, soaking nuts helps neutralize enzyme inhibitors, which can harm your digestion, and reduce phytates, which decrease nutrient absorption. Just submerge your nuts in water while the oven is heating up and you'll be good to go.

How many pecans does it take to make 1 lb? ›

For a pound of nutmeat, you will need 2½ pounds of in-shell pecans. In order to help you maintain the highest quality pecan meats, we have developed the following guide to help you understand the best way to handle and store your pecans.

How many cups is one pound of pecans? ›

Measurements and Substitutions

If you happen to have pecans in their shells, remember that 1 pound equals 3 cups shelled, about 4 cups pecan halves, and about 3 3/4 cups chopped nuts. Equivalents to know when using shelled pecans are that 1 pound equals 4 cups and 1 cup of pecan halves equals 3/4 cup chopped.

How do you take the bitterness out of pecans? ›

Some of the tannin and all of the corky material can be removed by washing the kernels before cooking. To "sweeten" the pecan meats (kernels), simply put the pecan kernels in a bowl and fill with lukewarm water. Stir and tumble the meats in the water for several minutes and you will see the discoloration in the water.

Can diabetics eat candied pecans? ›

Since nuts are low on the glycemic index, pecans can slow the body's absorption of carbohydrates down, which ultimately leads to lower blood glucose (sugar) levels; just ensure you're using unsalted, dry-roasted pecans and not candied pecans that can be high in sugar and added fat.

Do pecans affect blood sugar? ›

Pecans have a very low glycemic index, which means that eating them does not cause a spike in blood sugar, even in people with diabetes. Eating pecans can even offset the effects of higher glycemic index foods when eaten as part of the same meal.

Is pecan candy good for you? ›

Pecans by themselves, or when made into the tastiest pecan candy treats feeds our healthy skin, acts as a stress reducer, and is an anti-aging tool with all of its vitamins and minerals.

Why are my pecans sticky? ›

The real culprits behind the honeydew are aphids. Aphids are soft-bodied insects that suck sap from plant leaves. Many species of aphids exist and attack various plants, but two types of aphids attack pecan trees and secrete honeydew, the yellow pecan aphid and the black-margined aphid.

What causes stick tights on pecans? ›

Such "stick? tights" are caused by drought and heat stress in September and October. Pecans require water right up until the time of shuck split to reduce this problem. Nuts sprouting in the shuck before harvest (vivipary) are also reduced by late season water and/or stress reduction.

Can you vacuum seal candied pecans? ›

Make These Candied Pecans in Advance

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.


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