Food

The Goal is Scrumptious: Candied Pecans 

I’ve been wanting to try making candied nuts for some time now. I have a fear of burning them and stinking up the whole house, so I have put it off again and again… until now.

This week I decided it was time.  I risked the smell of my house, and possible failure, in order to attempt making candied pecans.

Candied Pecans... YUM @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

While browsing recipes, I found several that used egg whites and baked for 40 minutes or more.  I’m not a huge fan of recipes that use only egg yokes or whites… mostly because I can’t make myself throw the unused egg away, but I never know what to use the other half for.

Plus… I was growing nervous about the prospect of forgetting to stir them… which would lead to the dreaded burnt nuts.

Then I came across a recipe that only took 15 minutes from start to finish (and had no egg whites!)… this was the clear path for me! (That being said, I am guessing the other kind is totally worth the halves of eggs… I just didn’t want to mess with it on my first try.)

First, I mixed some powdered sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Then I added in the pecans and enough water to make a glaze.  Then I spread them on a baking sheet and baked them for 12 minutes.

While they baked, our house filled slowly with a rich, nutty aroma and a hint of caramel.  I needn’t have worried about the smell.  🙂

I whirled some of the freshly candied pecans in my little food processor for finely chopped pecans.  I sprinkled these over layers of caramel whipped cream in a cake.  They added the perfect crunch.  (This cake, by the way, was delectable.)

And the leftover candied pecans… they didn’t really last long enough to qualify as leftovers.

The culprit? My sweet two-year-old.  🙂

There are few things more adorable than a two-year-old munching on candied pecans. He stared intently at the bowl of nuts, reaching for more, while his half-open mouth crunched away unashamedly.  It made my day.

The Goal is Scrumptious: Candied Pecans @ quirkyandwonderful.wordpress.com

Quick and Easy Candied Pecans (altered from Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans at Once Upon a Chef)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/8 tsp salt*
  • a couple dashes cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 4 tsp water (more as needed)

*I used more than 1/4 tsp, but not quite 1/2 tsp of regular table salt.

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together powdered sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Add pecans and water and stir to make a glaze.  Add in a few drops of water if necessary to turn all the powder to glaze.
  2. Pour pecans and glaze on a foil-lined baking sheet and spread into a single layer.  Bake at 350 degrees (I did 325 degrees because my oven runs hot) for 10-12 minutes.  The bottoms should be caramelized and golden.  Cool several minutes before devouring.  😉

Next time I may double the glaze so the nuts on the edges of the pan have more glaze to keep from burning.  (They were still edible, but I wasn’t going to serve the *slightly* burnt nuts in the cake.)

Wishing you a scrumptious day!

~Katie

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