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Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans

Toasty pecans with a crunchy, sweet, cinnamon-spiced coating are perfect for snacking, dressing up a salad, or holiday gift giving. Betcha’ can’t eat just one!

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans ~ great for snacking, salad topping, or holiday gift giving!| {Five Heart Home}I’ve never met a nut I didn’t like. But in Texas, pecans reign supreme, so that’s typically what I end up sprinkling over salads, incorporating into baked goods, or eating by the handful. And while they’re perfectly tasty plain and exceptionally excellent toasted, I do have a favorite way to eat pecans.

Yup. You’re looking at it.

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans ~ great for snacking, salad topping, or holiday gift giving!| {Five Heart Home}These nuts are indescribably good, y’all. They’re crispy and crunchy. They’re sweet and salty. They have a nice kick of cinnamon. But there is one small problem…I CAN. NOT. STOP. EATING THEM.

Seriously.

We recently received a generous bag of fresh pecans as an oh-so-thoughtful Christmas gift, and before packaging them up for freezer storage, I decided to set aside a few cups and do something special with them. Enter these cinnamon sugar bites of joy.

Unfortunately, in less than 48 hours, I managed to deplete a whole batch of candied pecans almost entirely by myself, and that was with me actually exhibiting (some) restraint. Of course, it also didn’t take long for the 15-month-old to figure out that I was intermittently crunching on something yummy, all day long. Every time she saw me reaching for the bowl, she learned to run over with her mouth wide open and loudly say, “AHHHH!”

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans ~ great for snacking, salad topping, or holiday gift giving!| {Five Heart Home}So aside from obsessively devouring them, what else are these pecans good for? Well, they would clearly elevate a salad to the next level. You know how salads always taste so much better at fancy restaurants than they do when you make them at home? That would be because at a nice restaurant, salads are embellished with delectable garnishes like candied pecans. And now you have the power to make fancy-schmancy salads in your very own home…yippee!

Another great use for these nuts would be gift giving. I am telling you, fill a jar with these candied pecans, tie on a ribbon, and slap on a tag. After the first bite, your lucky gift recipient will think you’ve hung the moon. And/or ruined his diet, but he won’t even care.

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans ~ great for snacking, salad topping, or holiday gift giving!| {Five Heart Home}And now for a little candied pecan Q & A…

Could you substitute other nuts for pecans in this recipe? Of course! Pecans are particularly amenable to capturing extra cinnamon sugar goodness in their little cracks and crevices, but walnuts would do the same. And I feel sure that almonds would be delicious with this treatment as well. Just keep in mind that smaller nuts may cook more quickly and adjust the cooking time as necessary.

Other recipes out there don’t require beating the egg whites until stiff. Is this step really necessary? There are a lot of variations of egg white-based candied nut recipes. Some direct you to whisk the egg whites until frothy while some have you beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. This recipe falls into the latter category. I find that by folding the nuts into stiffly beaten egg whites, they end up with a thick, crunchy-but-delicate, almost meringue-like coating. It simultaneously pops and dissolves in your mouth. I have no doubt that the other recipes churn out delicious candied nuts as well, but this is my favorite way to make them. And while the beaten egg whites mixed with the pecans seems kind of weird and goopy to spread in the pan at first, everything dries up as it bakes to become toasty and crunchy.

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans ~ great for snacking, salad topping, or holiday gift giving!| {Five Heart Home}So what are you waiting for? Go forth and create candied pecans! Whether you give them as gifts to friends and neighbors, serve them at a party, share them with your family, or hide in the pantry and eat all of them yourself, they will be most appreciated by whomever devours them. (Even if that happens to be you. Ahem.)

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans

Yield: 5 cups

Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans

Toasty pecans with a crunchy, sweet, cinnamon-spiced coating are perfect for snacking, dressing up a salad, or holiday gift giving.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 egg whites (preferably at room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups pecan halves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a 13- by 18-inch sheet pan (that has sides) with heavy duty aluminum foil. Pour on melted butter and spread out so that pan is evenly coated.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites and water until stiff peaks just start to form. Blend in sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Fold in pecan halves and spread mixture in a single layer onto prepared pan.
  3. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, stirring and flipping pecans every 10 minutes. Watch nuts very closely during the last 10 minutes of cooking time, removing them from oven sooner if they are getting too dark. Nuts are done when they are mostly dry and golden brown.
  4. Allow pecans to cool on pan until they are completely dry and crunchy, stirring occasionally to break them up. Store in an airtight container for two to three weeks (though they will never last that long!).

Notes

The pecan and egg white mixture will be very wet and goopy at first. Just do your best to flip the pecans and spread them back out into a single layer the first few times that you stir them. I find it helpful to clean my spatula between flipping them.

Feel free to add a pinch of cayenne for sweet and spicy nuts!

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Looking for other homemade food gifts?

(Click on title below picture for recipe)

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{5-Minute, 5-Ingredient} Homemade Caramel Sauce ~ a jar of this makes a perfect gift! | {Five Heart Home}{5-Minute, 5-Ingredient} Homemade Caramel Sauce

Candy Cane Kiss Brownie Bites ~ perfect for your holiday cookie platter! | {Five Heart Home for Love Grows Wild}Candy Cane Kiss Brownie Bites

Chocolate Raspberry Shortbread Bars ~ this cookie is sure to become a favorite between its buttery shortbread, raspberry jam, and semisweet chocolate chips | {Five Heart Home}Chocolate Raspberry Shortbread Bars

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I always love hearing from you! ~ samantha {at} five heart home {dot} com

 

This post may be linked up to House of Rose, 4 Little Fergusons, and these fabulous parties!

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Comments

  1. I’ve been loving pecans this season. Yours look amazing! I love all the cinnamon sugar goodness 🙂

  2. These look awesome, Samantha! I don’t think I could hold myself back from eating most/all of them! Pinning this to my gift board and hoping to make them soon!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      I am telling you, Carrie…they are way too addictive. The next time I make them, I am going to have to give 3/4 of them away immediately! 😉 Thanks for the pin…hope you enjoy these! 🙂

  3. Hi Sam! Love these pecans! Hope you’re having a happy December!
    Deb

  4. These look great, Samantha! I’ve never made candied nuts but always love that wonderful scent that wafts through the malls this time of year from the nut booths. Thanks for sharing. Pinned.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Jelli! These nuts do remind me of the ones at the mall. But I was probably safer when they were only found at the mall…they disappear too quickly now that I have the ability to make them at home! 😉 I’m so glad you stopped by…have a great weekend!

  5. This is great, as I have been looking for a candied nut recipes, and this one looks wonderful. I like the way the texture of the coating looks in the photos. I have an ice cream making obsession, and want to add chopped candied nuts to ice cream. I think it would be fun to vary both the type of nut and the spice, and add to interesting ice cream flavors. Thanks for sharing on Show Stopper Saturday!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Oh my goodness, Janet…I think these would be so good in ice cream! I have a caramel sauce recipe on the site as well that — along with these pecans — would complement ice cream perfectly. I’m going to have to remember your suggestion the next time I break out my ice cream maker! 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by!

  6. Oh my!! These will not make it 48 hours in my house. They are the perfect snack.

  7. Samantha, these look SO good! Pinning them so that I can try them myself!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Blair…I think you’ll enjoy them! I made them again last night for my son’s teachers and it took immense willpower not to eat them all myself! 😉

  8. These look amazing! I would finish the whole bag- thanks for the recipe! Thank you so much for linking up to Get Your DIY On! I hope you’ll join us today with your “all-star” projects!!

    Mandy @ The Hankful House Blog

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thank you, Mandy! I pretty much did finish the whole bag… 😉 Thanks also for hosting the y’all’s great link party series…I’m happy to hear that it’s going to continue on a monthly basis. 🙂 I really appreciate you stopping by!

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