Glazed Pecans are a delicious, crunchy and sweet way to serve nuts this holiday season and beyond. Spiced with cinnamon, these easy candied pecans are great for snacking, adding to salads, sharing with loved ones and more.
Glazed Pecans recipe
My parents gifted me a trip to New York City for my 16th birthday. My mom and I flew to meet my cousin and aunt for a short trip that November in the big city.
I could not tell you all the things we did, but I can tell you that my senses were flooded with the smell of candied nuts from the street vendors as we explored the city. (Also, the memory of drinking Iced Cocoa at a specific eatery is pretty engrained, too…)
Every time I have visited New York City, I look for these vendors.
And today, I’m sharing a way to make these delicious little treats at home.
Our process is a little different, but I guarantee it’ll make your home smell ah-mazing.
Why I love this recipe:
I have always adored pecans, and giving them a sugared glaze on the exterior makes them even more decadent. (Hi. My sweet tooth knows no bounds.)
The combination of simple ingredients really makes this easy recipe shine. And the sugary coating is a thin glaze, so it’s not too thick or too sweet.
Here are a few reasons to dig this recipe:
- These candied pecans are made on the stovetop, so you don’t need an oven.
- You just need 5 ingredients to make ‘em. (And no, unlike traditional candied pecans, you do not need egg whites.)
- They’re scrumptious as a sweet snack, but you can also serve them with a variety of savory dishes, as well as sweet treats.
- They make a great gift for the people in your life who enjoy things like this.
- This glazed pecans recipe is naturally gluten free.
Serve these glazed pecans with… Hot Chocolate Board (or another cheese board, like Thanksgiving Cheese Board) | Cranberry Feta Brussels Sprout Salad with Candied Pecans and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
What you need to make this recipe:
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Let’s talk ingredients!
In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Here’s what you’ll need to grab at the grocery store:
- Unsalted butter — or a vegan butter substitute, if you want these to be dairy free
- Granulated sugar — also known as white sugar, this serves as the sweetener for our pecans. While you could substitute it with brown sugar for molasses notes, I like the classic granulated sugar for this recipe.
- Ground cinnamon — you don’t need a lot, but you get a delightful warming note from this!
- Kosher salt — I like to use a medium grain kosher salt in my recipes, like Diamond Crystal. You could use a similarly sized sea salt. Please note that table salt is significantly saltier than kosher salt, so use a smaller pinch if that’s what you have.
- Pecan halves — or pieces, if you don’t want to do the halves.
Customizations and substitutions
Substitute the kind of nut. This recipe would be excellent with walnuts, hazelnuts and more!
Add more spice. If you love pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice, add that instead of the cinnamon for more warming notes.
Add some heat. Add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to give these nuts a kick.
How to make Homemade Candied Pecans
Melt the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. This is where the candied pecans will cool, and it is essential to have something nonstick to prevent the pecans from sticking to the pan.
Add the sugar to the skillet. Season with salt and cinnamon.
Stir the ingredients constantly around the pan with a rubber spatula. We do this so they do not burn.
As it heats, the sugar will melt and begin to bubble.
Add the nuts to the glaze mixture. Keep stirring to coat the nuts until they’re toasty.
Keep an eye on the pecans as they are cooking because they can burn very easily, especially nearing the end of the candying process.
Immediately remove from the heat and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
Use the rubber spatula to separate the nuts to form a single layer so they don’t clump together as they cool. As the sugar cools and hardens, they will be challenging to break apart.
The candied coating will harden in about 5-10 minutes.
You can store them or add them to your salad once they’ve cooled off!
How to store
Store in an airtight container at room temperature. I recommend keeping it in a cool, dark place (like your pantry) for up to a week.
It’s important for the container to be airtight because these could go a little stale otherwise. I had that happen in my pantry recently.
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
Honestly, these caramelized pecans are the perfect entertaining snacky snack. They’re perfect to grab and go… they’re also bite-sized and not messy, which makes them ideal. I will note they are a little sticky, but it’s nothing bad or unmanageable.
Here’s how I would use these throughout the holiday season and beyond:
- Make them early… and keep them sealed in an airtight food storage container for a week.
- Make a few batches if you’re planning to share with several guests.
- Leave a bowl out for guests to snack on these as they hang out in your home.
- Add them to various seasonal salads as a salad topper.
- Serve on top a scoop of vanilla ice cream as a decadent dessert.
Frequently Asked Questions
Traditional candied pecans are made with egg white and sugar while traditional glazed pecans involve a liquid sweetener (like corn syrup or maple syrup) and sugar. We’re using sugar and butter to make our glaze, and it is utterly decadent.
Sure! Make glazed walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, etc. Use the same amount of those nuts as you would the pecans.
Quick tips and tricks to making the glazed pecans
- Use whole pecans for a fancier look. (But please note that pecan pieces also work!)
- Make multiple batches to share for the holidays. These make great gifts for teachers, friends, neighbors and more. Wrap ‘em in a pretty cellophane baggie with a big bow or in mason jars with a custom label.
- I do not recommend doubling the recipe in a single pan because you run the risk of burning the pecans or the glaze.
More easy recipes to share with people you love:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar 100g
- 2 cup pecan halves 240g
- Large pinch of kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Melt the butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- While the butter melts, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. This will be used to cool the pecans. They will stick if you do not line the pan!
- Add the sugar to the skillet. Season with salt and cinnamon. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar begins to melt.
- Add the pecans to the skillet. Move the ingredients around the skillet frequently with a rubber spatula so they don’t burn. (Please keep an eye on them. This is not a task where you should be focusing on anything else, as this can burn very easily, especially toward the end of the process.)
- Continue stirring until the nuts are fully coated, then transfer immediately onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Separate the nuts on the baking sheet with the rubber spatula into a single layer so they don’t stick together. If they cool together, you’ll have a hard time breaking them apart.
- The candied coating will harden in about 5-10 minutes, then you can enjoy these!