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Candied Cinnamon Pecans

These Candied Cinnamon Pecans are great for a sweet snack, holiday treat, or even a salad topping.  This is a fast and easy recipe that you can whip up in a matter of minutes with only 5 ingredients.  I love making these Candied Pecans because they make my house smell like the holidays! Customize this recipe by adding any spices you want (e.g., ginger, nutmeg, clove, pumpkin pie spice).

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Ingredients for Candied Cinnamon Pecans

Equipment:

How to Toast Pecans in the Oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.  Place pecan halves in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 5-10 minutes.  Stir the pecans halfway through baking so they brown evenly and don’t burn. 

Remove the pecans from the oven when they have browned slightly and are fragrant.  Pour into a bowl to stop the pecans from continuing to bake. 

Why Should I Toast Pecans?

Toasting pecans enhances the nutty flavor and aroma of pecans while making them crunchier.  This is a great way to add more nut flavor to foods.     

Making the Candied Cinnamon Pecans

Brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and water in a small saucepan for Candied Pecans

In a small saucepan, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and water.  Stir to combine with a silicone spatula. 

Boiling caramel for Candied Pecans

Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook the sugar mixture until the mixture boils.  Do not stir the sugar mixture at this point.  Stirring can cause the sugar to crystallize.

Pecans in boiling caramel

Once boiling, add the toasted pecans and very quickly mix to cover them with sugar.  Do NOT stir too much.  The agitation will cause crystallization. 

Cover the saucepan and continue boiling for approximately 1 minute or until the mixture reaches the hard crack stage (i.e., 300F/149C). 

Candied Pecans on a silpat

Quickly transfer the pecans to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and use a fork to separate the pecans.  This process needs to happen VERY quickly because the sugar mixture will harden within a couple minutes.  Be careful during this process because the sugar is very hot and can burn you. 

I like to make small batches of candied cinnamon pecans so it’s easier to separate all of the pecans before they harden.  If you make a larger batch, keep the pecans in the saucepan so the sugar stays warm while you separate the pecans onto the baking sheet. 

Allow the candied pecans to cool until hard and are no longer sticky. 

Storing Candied Cinnamon Pecans

Ensure the pecans have cooled completely before storing in an airtight container.  They will last for about a week at room temperature, a month in the refrigerator, and for two months in the freezer.  Allow the nuts to come to room temperature in their container if storing them in the fridge or freezer.  This will decrease the condensation and will keep the candied pecans from getting sticky and soft. 

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Candied Cinnamon Pecans

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack

Equipment

  • Digital scale (or dry measuring cups and measuring spoons)
  • Small, heavy-bottomed saucepan
  • Silicone spatula
  • Parchment paper (I like to use precut parchment paper sheets) or silicone mat
  • Baking sheet
  • Fork

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (60g) pecan halves
  • ½ cup (110g) light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp (1.5g) salt
  • ½ tsp (1.5g) ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp (30mL) water

Instructions

How to Toast Pecans in the Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Place pecan halves in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Stir the pecans halfway through baking so they brown evenly and don’t burn.
  • Remove the pecans from the oven when they have browned slightly and are fragrant. Pour into a bowl to stop the pecans from continuing to bake.

Making the Candied Cinnamon Pecans

  • In a small saucepan, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and water. Stir to combine with a silicone spatula.
  • Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook the sugar mixture until the mixture boils. Do not stir the sugar mixture at this point. Stirring can cause the sugar to crystallize.
  • Once boiling, add the toasted pecans and very quickly mix to cover them with sugar. Do NOT stir too much. The agitation will cause crystallization.
  • Cover the saucepan and continue boiling for approximately 1 minute or until the mixture reaches the hard crack stage (i.e., 300F/149C).
  • Quickly transfer the pecans to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and use a fork to separate the pecans. This process needs to happen VERY quickly because the sugar mixture will harden within a couple minutes. Be careful during this process because the sugar is very hot and can burn you.
  • I like to make small batches of candied cinnamon pecans so it’s easier to separate all of the pecans before they harden. If you make a larger batch, keep the pecans in the saucepan so the sugar stays warm while you separate the pecans onto the baking sheet.
  • Allow the candied pecans to cool until hard and are no longer sticky.

Storing Candied Cinnamon Pecans

  • Ensure the pecans have cooled completely before storing in an airtight container. They will last for about a week at room temperature, a month in the refrigerator, and for two months in the freezer. Allow the nuts to come to room temperature in their container if storing them in the fridge or freezer. This will decrease the condensation and will keep the candied pecans from getting sticky and soft.

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