Candied PecansDecember 18, 2015 By Cathy — 5 Comments
These candied pecans are sweet and crunchy with just a hint of spice.
I get a little nostalgic around the holidays, as I’m sure many of you do. I reminisce about running down the stairs on Christmas morning with my brothers to see if we’d been naughty or nice, lugging my first Christmas tree with Steve down the streets of Manhattan to our tiny apartment, and more recently hearing the squeals from my boys when they discovered that Rudolph ate the celery and carrots that we left by the front door.
I’m not a particularly sentimental person eleven months out of the year, but come December, all bets are off. Once that tree goes up and the stockings flank the mantel, this girl goes soft. I get family on the brain and all I want to do is snuggle up under a cozy blanket and watch some hokey movie like Family Man for the gazillionth time. You know, one of those what-would-life-be-like-if-I-walked-through-the-other-door sort of movie.
Anyway, the moral to the movie is life is always better when you walk through the door that leads you to family, no matter how imperfect they may be. But we don’t always have that option around the holidays. The miles may separate us and calendars don’t always sync up, and sometimes a little homemade gift delivered to those that you can’t be with is second best.
It shows you’re thinking about them in a way that another pair of fluffy slippers just can’t. I know, it means a special trip to the post office and maybe a little bubble wrap, but I promise you the sentiment is worth it. These candied pecans are the perfect gift to ship to far away family. They travel well, last for several days, (even weeks) and are a delicious snack or salad topper. And did I mention that they’re super easy?
So before you choose another ‘tower of treats‘ from a catalog this year, heat up the oven, tie on your apron and sprinkle on the love. Because they’re worth it.
- 16 oz whole pecans
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1-2 Tbsp water as needed
- *Additional 1 Tbsp sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet tray with parchment.
Whisk together the sugars, corn syrup, salt and spices in a bowl. Thin with a tablespoon or two of water as needed.
Add pecans and toss well to coat.
Spread pecans evenly in prepared pan and bake 25-30 minutes, stirring once or twice to be sure they cook evenly and don't burn.
Remove from oven when browned and glossy and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar and toss.
Place a piece of parchment or non-stick foil on the counter and carefully spread out the nuts on the paper and allow to cool.
Nuts can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.