Any great Candied Pecan recipes?
Did a search here but didn't turn up anything that fit the bill. Epicurious had one that one person reviewed and nixed. I am looking for sweet, not spicy with a crunchy, thicker coating and crunchy nut.
Anyone have a good recipe they love. Not adverse to cinnamon, but no cayenne or heat.
My food chemist dad came up with one I use to this day which is much simpler and less sweet:
I lb. of pecan halves
1 beaten egg white w/ a teaspoon of water to emulsify
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of spice of choice
Toss all ingredients until halves are well coated. Use slotted spoon to evenly space halves over a sheet of oiled parchment paper on a baking sheet. Place sheet in preheated 250 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes. Turn off oven and allow nuts to rest in the oven overnight. In the morning, they are dried, crunchy and virtually fall off the parchment.
Cooks Illustrated has a non-baked version. You do heat whatever nuts you are using in the oven to get them hot. Meantime you melt a little butter and water in a big pot, and mix cinnamon and sugar, or curry powder and sugar, or your choice of dry seasonings, in another bowl. Stir the hot nuts unto the melted butter/water until well coated, then dump them into the dry seasonings, shake and stir to coat, spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool.
My version - I make several batches of these each fall/winter.
Spiced Sugar Pecans or Almonds
very easy to make – 1 hour at 250 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes
1 egg white
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 pound pecan halves or almonds (4 cups)
3/4 cup white sugar or Splenda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Grease one large sheet cake pan or jelly roll pan.
- In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white and vanilla until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
- Add pecans to egg whites, stir to coat the nuts evenly.
- Remove the nuts, and toss them in the sugar mixture until coated. (
Hint: add the pecans to the sugar mixture, cover the bowl with plastic wrap (fasten w/ rubber band) and shake it for one minute. Nuts get perfectly coated with the sugar mixture and no mess.)
- Spread the nuts out on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake at 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
Cool on baking pan, store in zip-top bags. May be frozen.
Recipe is also great with almonds, which get more tender when baked
I've not tried with parchment paper, I just use PAM or similar veg-oil spray. The nuts are quite sticky as they first start to cook and MUST be stirred to avoid burning. I'd be concerned about stirring on parchment paper without pushing the whole batch onto the oven floor.
I've not tried this without salt. You could easily try a side-by-side batch, making 1 cup of nuts with a portion of the coating w/ salt baked in an 8x8 , and 3 cups w/ no salt baked on the jelly roll pan. What makes these good tasting to me is the slightly salty-sweet combo, although salt was reduced by half from the first version I tried.
We use these to top salads and baked sweet potatoes as well as for snack-food.
Midwesterner's recipe is the one I use, too. My sister and BFF love these pecans so much, they don't want the recipe. They want me to surprise them now and then with a jar of the nuts. Then they don't share if they can get away with it.
These are particularly good with fresh pecans during harvest season, when they're sweet and full of flavor.
One more hint - use a slotted spoon to move the nuts from the egg white mixture to the sugar mixture. If you just pour, you get a seriously sticky mess due to the extra liquid.
I keep my large Costco bag of pecans in the freezer, sealed tightly. That really helps keep them close to fresh-flavor.
1 LB (4 cups) pecan halves
1 egg white
1 TBS water
1 cup sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg white and water until fluffy. I usually prop the bowl at an angle to "puddle" the mixture….makes it easier to whip.
Leave the bowl propped and stir in the sugar, salt and cinnamon until mixed.
Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the pecans; folding until all are well-coated with the egg white mixture. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a parchment paper covered jelly roll pan. (I usually have to use 2 table knives.) Rubber spatula the residue and dribble onto the nuts.
Bake in a 200 oven for 45 - 60 minutes, turning (flipping) the nuts every 15 minutes. Separate any that stick together. Be sure the pecans are DRY. Cool thoroughly in a single layer before storing. IF YOU HAVE A CONVECTION OVEN: Be sure the nuts are in a single layer. Bake the nuts for 30 minutes then fold the parchment to the middle from all sides flipping the nuts. Be sure to separate the nuts and have wet side up and finish baking.
Tips: I use a plastic bowl just because it is easier to lift. I generally use a table knife to stir (lift and flip) the drying nuts. BE SURE TO KEEP THE HEAT LOW AND BE SURE THE NUTS END UP DRY TO THE TOUCH.
The parchment paper is worth its weight in GOLD. I usually use my nice clean broiler pan instead of a cookie sheet---you want big but shallow. The more you can spread out the pecans the faster they will dry.
I save the crumbly leftovers and use them as a topping for my banana muffins……just press on top before you bake the muffins. Mary Ellen
Your recipe is almost the same as midwesterners except you sub out the vanilla. And tiny bit more salt. Thank you for the detailed instructions every little bit helps.
I am also thankful there is no candy thermometer, soft ball stage stuff in there. And glad to hear I can use parchment.
Maybe I will try both recipes and see how it goes. I will report back once I make them. Thank you very much for everyone's responses.
Oooh - I want to try this one-bowl technique, and thanks for the hint regarding the parchment paper.
I've tried both water and vanilla as the liquid and prefer vanilla but was not so happy about the costs of vanilla from the grocery store. So learned to make my own using vanilla beans (ordered online or from Costco) and vodka.