Candied pecans are an addictive and tasty snack that is quick and easy to make. These pecans can be eaten out of hand, used as a topping for sweet potatoes or can be added to desserts (more on that later). The first time I remember eating candied pecans was on a trip to Houston, Texas. I was traveling with a couple friends and we stayed at a hotel that gave out coupons for free hors d’oeuvres and drinks at the hotel bar. My friends and I took full advantage of their generosity and tried every hors d’oeuvre on the menu. The candied pecans were by far the best thing we tasted. They were the perfect snack to eat while sitting at a bar and having a couple drinks before going out for the night.
I added cayenne pepper to counterbalance the sweetness of the maple syrup, but it is completely optional. If you use it, do not use too much. You want to add enough that you taste it, but not so much that the nuts are spicy.
1 Tbsp. of butter
1 ½ tsp. of water
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 cup of pecan halves
Salt to taste
1 pinch of cayenne (optional)
- Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
- As the butter is melting, combine the water, vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne if using in a small bowl.
- Once the butter is melted, add the pecan halves stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- After 2-3 minutes, the warm, toasty aroma of toasted pecans should consume your kitchen. This is when you add the maple syrup mixture. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir until the pecans are completely coated with the syrup.
- Spread the pecans on a piece of parchment paper or even better a silicone baking mat to cool.
- Once cooled, try not to eat them all in one sitting.