Looking for an effortless way to make Candied Pecans? This No Bake Candied Pecans recipe is a game-changer, offering a hassle-free way to achieve those delightful, sweet and spicy pecans, without the fuss of baking. These party nuts are an especially great treat to serve during the holiday season.
Not only are candied pecans a delightful snack on their own, but they also make an excellent addition to salads, cheeseboards and/or as a topping for desserts. With just a handful of pantry staples and a few simple steps, you’ll have a batch of these irresistible spicy cinnamon pecans ready to serve and impress.
Ingredients to Make Candied Pecans
Luckily, most of the ingredients you will need to make these quick candied pecans, are items you likely have in your pantry. The following is a list of possible substitutes, or alternations to consider when preparing these quick candied pecans:
- Pecan halves: Alternatively, or in addition to, add walnut halves, almonds, cashews or other preferred nuts.
- Dark brown sugar: Light brown sugar can be substituted for dark brown sugar.
- Maple syrup: Use a good quality, real maple syrup.
- Cinnamon: Feel free to change up the flavoring with pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, or nutmeg.
- Cayenne pepper: Chili powder or paprika are great substitutes. Alternatively, leave out, if you do not prefer an added level of heat.
How to Make No Bake Candied Pecans
To be honest, this quick candied pecan recipe was a total experiment. Thankfully, the recipe for this nutty delight, worked out beautifully. The key is to keep your eye on the pecans, not only as they are toasting, but also once you add them to the sugary mixture. The end result, will be crunchy, sweet and spicy pecans that are ready to serve in no time:
- Begin by toasting the pecans. Place the walnut halves in a dry pan over medium heat. Toast them, turning frequently, until they become fragrant and slightly browned. Once done, remove the toasted pecans from the pan and set them aside.
- Using the same pan, add the butter, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Whisk this mixture over medium heat until the sugars melt, and the mixture turns bubbly.
- Once the mixture starts bubbling, add the toasted pecans back into the pan. Gently fold the pecans into the bubbling mixture, ensuring they are fully coated. Let the pecans cook in the mixture for a few more minutes, stirring continuously.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the coated pecans onto the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they are spread out and not sticking together. Optionally, while they are still warm, sprinkle them with turbinado sugar for an added touch of sweetness and crunch.
- Allow the candied pecans to sit on the baking sheet for approximately 10 minutes to set and cool.
Tips to Making Sweet and Spicy, No Bake Candied Pecans
- Although this recipe calls for pecans, you can use any variety of nuts.
- For ease, use a non-stick pan.
- Toast the pecans in a dry pan just until fragrant, and slightly browned.
- Alternatively, lay the pecans out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toast the in the oven at 350° for 8-10 minutes. Stirring halfway through.
- Keep an eye on the pecans as they are toasting, so as not to burn.
- Use a good quality, real maple syrup.
- Adjust the cinnamon and cayenne pepper to your liking.
- Once you add the pecans to the sugar mixture, keep moving them around in the pan to fully coat and to ensure the sugar does not burn (this will only take a few minutes).
- Lay the coated pecans onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and separate immediately, so the coated nuts do not stick together.
- Optionally, while the pecans are still warm, sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Alternatively, use coconut sugar, or combine equal parts granulated and brown sugar.
How to Serve and Store Candied Pecans
These no bake candied pecans are perfect to enjoy on their own as a snack or crunchy party nut, but also can be used in various ways:
- Salad Topping: Sprinkle them over salads to add a delightful crunch and sweetness.
- Breakfast or Dessert: Elevate your breakfast or dessert game by using these spiced nuts as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream or other desserts.
- Cheeseboard Addition: Pair these candied pecans with cheeses and fruits on a cheeseboard for a sweet and savory contrast.
- Cheese Ball: Whole or crushed, these crunchy candied nuts make for the perfect topping for your favorite cheeseball recipe.
- Store: Store cooled, candied pecans in an airtight container or resealable bag at room temperature to maintain freshness.
- Refrigeration: In warmer climates or during hotter months, consider refrigerating them to extend their shelf life.
- Freezing Option: For longer-term storage, freeze them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before using.
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