You know those candied pecans they sell from kiosks in shopping malls this time of year? The ones that beckon you from yards away with their buttery, nutty aroma? Well, I’m about to show you how to make them at home with just a few ingredients. They’re the perfect holiday snack for parties or as a little snacky snack while you’re wrapping gifts, watching a classic Christmas movie, or waiting for Christmas dinner to be ready. In other words, bookmark this candied pecans recipe because I promise you’ll be making them over and over for years to come.
What Are Candied Pecans?
This perfect little holiday snack is simply pecan halves that have a crunchy brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla-flavored coating. The nuts roast as they bake in the oven, giving them an even toastier, nutty flavor. These candied nuts are absolutely addictive and are the perfect item to bring to any holiday party, or to package up for easy homemade Christmas gifts.
Ingredients for Candied Pecans
You only need a handful of simple ingredients to make this recipe for candied pecans:
- Pecan Halves: You’ll need shelled pecan halves for this recipe. Chopped pecans or pecan pieces will be too small for this method. Make sure to check grocery store websites and circulars to find the best price for pecan halves in your area, as this is the most expensive ingredient in the recipe. We got a great deal at ALDI!
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar gives the sugar coating on the pecans a really rich warm flavor, thanks to the molasses that gives brown sugar it’s characteristic color.
- White Sugar: White sugar is added to the brown sugar to create the crunchy coating on the nuts, helping it bake up a little crunchier than brown sugar alone.
- Cinnamon: A healthy dose of cinnamon gives the nuts a super warm and cozy flavor, perfect for the holidays
- Vanilla: Vanilla adds a warm element to the flavor profile and just pairs perfectly with the cinnamon and nuts.
- Egg: Egg white helps the sugar coat the nuts and it changes the texture of the sugar coating to be a really light, airy, and crispy texture instead of a smooth, glassy candy coating.
- Salt: A little bit of salt really goes a long way in this recipe to really make the candy coating extra flavorful. The salt balances the sugars and really makes everything pop.
How to Store Candied Pecans
Once the candied pecans are completely cooled, these candied pecans can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for about a week, or frozen for longer storage. They’ll stay fresh in the freezer for about three months and can be thawed at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt to a bowl, then stir them together until evenly combined.
- Separate the egg and place the egg white in a large bowl. Lightly whisk the egg white until it is frothy, then add the vanilla extract and briefly whisk again to combine.
- Add the pecans to the egg white mixture and stir to coat. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the nuts and stir to coat again.
- Spread the coated nuts out onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake the nuts in the preheated 350ºF for 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
- Allow the nuts to cool completely before enjoying or storing for later.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Candied Pecans – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Add ⅓ cup brown sugar, ⅓ cup white sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and ½ tsp salt to a bowl and stir them together until they’re evenly combined.
Separate one large egg. Add the egg white to a large bowl and whisk it just until it gets a little frothy, then add ½ tsp vanilla extract and whisk briefly again to combine.
Add 1 lb. pecan halves to the lightly whisked egg whites and stir until the nuts are coated in the egg white. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the nuts and stir to coat again.
This is what they’ll look like when coated in egg and cinnamon-sugar.
Spread the pecans out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake the pecans in the preheated 350ºF oven for about 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Allow the pecans to cool completely before enjoying or packing for storage.