Quick and Easy Candied Pecans Recipe

Updated on March 19, 2018
VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne has been experimenting in the kitchen for almost 50 years. She loves to share her recipes, cooking tips, and reviews.

Easy two-ingredient recipe!
Easy two-ingredient recipe! | Source

How do you like this recipe?

4.6 stars from 7 ratings of Easy Candied Pecans

Easy Sugared Nuts Recipe

Candied pecans can be expensive to buy, so make your own in just 5 minutes! You just need:

  • Pecans
  • Sugar (white or brown)

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 min
Cook time: 4 min
Ready in: 5 min
Yields: 1 cup sugared pecans

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecans, (or walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, (white or brown)

Instructions

  1. Put sugar and pecans in a skillet on medium heat. Stir with a spatula.
  2. Watch for the sugar to melt into a liquid. Stir the pecans into the melted sugar until all the sugar is melted and candied onto the pecans.
  3. Pour out the pecans onto parchment paper or foil and spread apart as they cool.

Step-by Step-Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Finished treat.Step 1: Put pecans and sugar in skillet and stir.Step 2: Watch for sugar to start melting.  If sugar doesn't melt in a couple of minutes, you can cover the pan for a minute or two.Step 3: Continue stirring and the melted sugar will cling to the pecans and then harden.  Melted sugar may be light brown but lower heat if it starts to brown too fast or you smell burning.Candied pecans are done when all the sugar is melted and candied on the pecans.Step 4: Pour pecans onto foil, parchment paper or a silicone sheet to cool.Spread pecans apart and break up into individual nuts when no longer hot.
Finished treat.
Finished treat. | Source
Step 1: Put pecans and sugar in skillet and stir.
Step 1: Put pecans and sugar in skillet and stir. | Source
Step 2: Watch for sugar to start melting.  If sugar doesn't melt in a couple of minutes, you can cover the pan for a minute or two.
Step 2: Watch for sugar to start melting. If sugar doesn't melt in a couple of minutes, you can cover the pan for a minute or two. | Source
Step 3: Continue stirring and the melted sugar will cling to the pecans and then harden.  Melted sugar may be light brown but lower heat if it starts to brown too fast or you smell burning.
Step 3: Continue stirring and the melted sugar will cling to the pecans and then harden. Melted sugar may be light brown but lower heat if it starts to brown too fast or you smell burning. | Source
Candied pecans are done when all the sugar is melted and candied on the pecans.
Candied pecans are done when all the sugar is melted and candied on the pecans. | Source
Step 4: Pour pecans onto foil, parchment paper or a silicone sheet to cool.
Step 4: Pour pecans onto foil, parchment paper or a silicone sheet to cool. | Source
Spread pecans apart and break up into individual nuts when no longer hot.
Spread pecans apart and break up into individual nuts when no longer hot. | Source

Using Candied Nuts

Candied pecans are great as a snack. I love to have them on a plate or a bowl for people to eat at a home party or during the holiday season. Here are some other ideas for using sugared pecans:

  1. Salad Topping: Add a bowl of pecans to your home salad bar. These also make a terrific salad topping for a fruit salad. Or try my favorite: Make a salad with baby greens, strawberries, feta cheese and sugared pecans. Add some chopped chicken if you'd like this to be a meal. Use balsamic dressing (I love Newman's Low Fat Balsamic) or sesame ginger dressing.
  2. On Sweet Potatoes. You can use along with butter and brown sugar for whole cooked as yams, or put sugared pecans on top of your favorite sweet potato casserole dish.
  3. Quick and Easy Home Made Gift: Put candied pecans in a jar with a lid, or in a pretty dish or a clear gift bag. These make a quick and easy gift for the holidays or as a housewarming gift.
  4. Custard or Pie: Sprinkle some candied pecans on top of your pumpkin pie, a pudding or custard along with some whipped cream. Makes an ordinary dish special.

Other Recipes

Different Techniques: My recipe is faster and easier than any of the others I have found online or in cookbooks. Most recipes either:

  • Boil pecans slowly in sugar water until it caramelizes and coats the pecan.
  • Coat the pecans in egg white before dipping in sugar and then baking in the oven.

Adding Flavors: I've included videos of both these techniques in case you want to try them. In addition, many recipes add spices to the pecans like:

  • cinnamon (the most common)
  • cloves
  • ginger
  • nutmeg

You can add spices to my recipe also for spiced candied pecans.

Brown Sugar: another way to vary the recipe is to use brown sugar. Brown sugar gives a deeper flavor and it melts very easily.

Make Other Candied Nuts

Use the same recipe but substitute:

Walnuts

Almonds

Cashews

Peanuts

Mixed Nuts

Health Benefits of Pecans

Although candied pecans are really a treat, you might like to know that pecans are good for you. They have:

  • monounsaturated fats which help you develop HDL or the "good cholesterol"
  • anti-oxidants
  • vitamin E to help your skin
  • B-complex vitamins which help metabolize enzymes in your body
  • minerals such as manganese, potassium, and selenium which your body needs regularly
  • proteins to help keep you from being hungry and to help you build muscle

A handful of nuts such as pecans each day can help you keep on a balanced diet.

Packaging for Gifts

Homemade gifts are always my favorites. What I love about giving candied pecans is that I can make them and package them up in 10-15 minutes for a hostess gift or for holiday giving. Here are some ideas:

  • Put in a Mason jar or another recycled jar with a lid. Top with fabric and a ribbon.
  • Put in a pretty bowl. Wrap with plastic and then put in a cellophane gift bag with a bow and the recipe attached.
  • Seal pecans in a Ziplock bag or cellophane bag and put inside a Chinese take-out gift box or a gift bag.
  • Make a salad gift basket inside a salad bowl. Include croutons, parmesann cheese, bacon salad topping (in jars or packages, it doesn't need refrigeration), candied pecans and salad tongs.

No matter how you package the candied pecans or other nuts, you might want to include a recipe card, or tell them you found the recipe here!

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Lauryn 

        4 years ago

        I just made these and they turned out great! I added a little cinnamon and vanilla too, great addition :-)

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        4 years ago

        I love all your ideas for using these sweet treats. I recently had a most heavenly pecan pie, and it as homemade too! Now, I am going to add pecans to my grocery list this week.

      • Donna Huebsch profile image

        Donna Fairley Huebsch 

        4 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

        These look great! I have a spicy pecan recipe that I used to make to give as Christmas gifts.

      • bethperry profile image

        Beth Perry 

        4 years ago from Tennesee

        Oh my, I've got to try these! I love sweet potato casserole, and these sound like the perfect topping. Thanks for sharing!

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        4 years ago from the short journey

        Uh, oh. I'm on a pecan kick and these look too easy, and fabulous.

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