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Candied Pecans

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Candied pecans are sweet, crunchy, bursting with cinnamon flavor, and totally snack worthy. They’re perfect for topping salads and desserts or just munching by the handful.

Close up of candied pecans in a white bowl.

Anyone else remember the days when the mall was *the* coolest place to be?

I remember before being able to drive, getting together with my friends and having one of our parents drop us off to hang out at the mall. Sometimes we shopped, sometimes we hung out in the food court, and we probably always annoyed the adults who were working there.

The holidays were of course the biggest and best time to be at the mall. Aside from getting your shopping done, you could soak in the decorations and music and the best part: the smell of cinnamon nuts roasting in those little kiosks.

To this day, nothing smells quite as much like Christmas as those candied nuts. There were usually a few different types, but pecans were always the most popular.

The mall may not be the cool place to be anymore (if your town even still has one!), but candied pecans? They still make me feel like it’s the Christmas season – I just make them at home now.

Candied pecans packaged in two small plastic gift bags on a counter in front of a bowl of candied pecans.

WHAT ARE CANDIED PECANS?

If you weren’t a mall rat teenager or you avoided shopping there during the holidays, you might have missed out on the amazingness of these sweet, cinnamony nuts.

Candied pecans are pecans that have been coated in a sweet cinnamon and sugar mixture and are then roasted until the nuts are toasted and fragrant and the sugary coating hardens. 

The result is pecans that are super crunchy with just the right amount of sweetness and a ton of cinnamon flavor. Not to mention that they make your house smell amazing!

Overhead view of candied pecans in a bowl next to a baking sheet of candied pecans.

MAKING THIS RECIPE

If you’ve never made candied nuts before, the process couldn’t be easier and it requires just a handful of ingredients that you probably have on hand already.

Ingredients you’ll need

You’ll only need 6 ingredients to make these candied pecans:

  • Granulated sugar: For a pound of pecans, we’ll use ½ cup of granulated sugar for just the right amount of sweetness. 
  • Ground cinnamon: 1 teaspoon of cinnamon gives us a great flavor and aroma in these pecans. If you want to bring some other spice flavors into the mix, try making chai spiced pecans or make spiced pecans for a less sweet variation.
  • Salt: Salt helps balance out the sweetness of the recipe and enhance the flavor of the cinnamon.
  • Egg white: Beating an egg white until it is frothy is what helps the cinnamon-sugar mixture to stick to the nuts while baking.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla makes so many things taste even better! You can use your favorite brand of vanilla or use homemade vanilla extract.
  • Pecan halves: The heart of this recipe is the pecans! I like to pick up a big bag of pecan halves at Costco prior to the holidays so I can make multiple batches of these candied pecans.
Candied pecan ingredients arranged on a countertop.

Can you use other nuts?

Don’t love pecans? No problem!

This recipe would be amazing with whole almonds or cashews, too! Or grab a pound of your favorite mixed nuts for a combo.

Small white bowl of cinnamon-sugar on a countertop.

Making candied pecans

First, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Set this aside.

Whisk together the egg white and vanilla until frothy. You can do this by hand (it should only take a few minutes), or use your electric mixer to do it really quickly.

Fold the nuts into the egg whites, then add in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Stir until the nuts are really well coated.

Frothy egg whites and vanilla whisked in a white mixing bowl.

Spread the mixture out onto a lined baking sheet. These bake low and slow – bake them for an hour, stirring them every 15-20 minutes as they bake.

The pecans will still be sticky while baking, but when they are done they will be super fragrant and the sugar coating will be dry.

These are very hot when they come out of the oven, thanks to the sugar coating, so make sure you let them cool before digging in.

Pecans coated with cinnamon-sugar coating in a white bowl.

WAYS TO ENJOY CANDIED PECANS

If you’re like me, you’ll eat the entire batch straight from the container into your mouth over the course of 2 days. But I have some other ideas for you, too!

Candied pecans make a great topper for salads, yogurt parfaits, ice cream sundaes, or even your morning peanut butter toast or with cream cheese on a bagel.

They also make a great gift! Package them up in a jar and pop them into a basket alongside some homemade peanut brittle and homemade marshmallows for a gift perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Unbaked candied pecans on a parchment-lined baking sheet, ready to go in the oven.

STORAGE

Store your candied pecans in an airtight container. They will last for about a month at room temperature, or for about 3 months in the freezer.

Wooden spoon stirring candied pecans on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Candied pecans on a baking sheet being stirred with a wooden spoon.

Candied Pecans

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Candied pecans are sweet, crunchy, bursting with cinnamon flavor, and totally snack worthy. They’re perfect for topping salads and desserts or just munching by the handful.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pound pecan halves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white and vanilla until frothy. You may also use an electric mixer to do this. 
  4. Add in the pecans and stir to coat.
  5. Gradually add the cinnamon-sugar mixture and stir until the pecans are coated in all that sugary goodness.
  6. Spread the pecans onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 60 minutes, stirring the nuts every 15-20 minutes. When done, the nuts will be fragrant and the sugar coating will be dry.
  7. Cool the nuts completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 12
Amount Per Serving Calories 297Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 24gCholesterol 0mgSodium 16mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 4gSugar 10gProtein 4g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on social! I want to see what you made! @jamiemba

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Kelly

Tuesday 10th of November 2020

This with some balsamic glaze as well

Cathy Eckerman

Saturday 17th of March 2018

Always a family favorite and on a sprinkly day, my house smells like Christmas!  Can't get better than that

Jamie

Saturday 17th of March 2018

They are sooo good! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! -Jamie

Edwina at Induction Cooking

Monday 10th of July 2017

These look really good (and I love cinnamon so they really appeal). I've never made candied pecans before so I definitely need to try this recipe. Can't wait to make them.

Jamie

Wednesday 12th of July 2017

Let me know how you like them, Edwina!

Barbara

Friday 30th of June 2017

Can you please tell me who makes your favorite cinnamon tea. I had a tea made back in the early 80s that was delicious, beautiful deep color when you added milk and such a taste that to this day I have not forgotten. But I cannot not find it so far. Anytime I hear of any one drinking a cinnamon tea that they love, I try to find out who makes it so I can try it out. Eventually I hope to find the one that I so loved. Thank you in advance. Oh and yes I will be making these pecans tomorrow, they sound delish!

Jamie

Monday 3rd of July 2017

Hi, Barbara! I really like Tazo Cinnamon Tea. I hope you enjoyed the pecans!

Kelly @ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats

Friday 30th of June 2017

Mmmmm. I love pecans. But candied?! Heck yeah! Pinned :) xoxo

Jamie

Friday 30th of June 2017

Thanks so much, Kelly!

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