With candied pecans you can go simple or wild and crazy with spices. This recipe is the basic recipe that you can add spices to or switch out. It is simple, easy and delicious. You can serve these in salads or as a snack. I use this exact recipe for my Strawberry Salad. It pairs well with any salad that you prefer to add nuts to for a sweet crunch.
This basic recipe can be transformed into many different flavors. From sweet, spicy, sweet heat, bold, or any flavor in between. The sky is the limit. So let’s get started.
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter( any brand will do)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups pecans (or other nut)
1/2 tsp fine salt (I use pink salt)
1/4 tsp cinnamon ( I use regular or roasted)
- In a cast iron pan ( if you do not have a cast iron pan a regular non stick will do) over low heat, add the butter and let melt.
- Add in the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir or whisk to combine. Let this cook for about 3 minutes so the sugar dissolves. Do not raise the heat as it will burn the sugar and make the pecans have a burnt bitter flavor. Keep it low and cook it slow. The mixture will look dark and separated but don’t worry. It will come together when you add the pecans.
- Add the pecans and toss to combine in the candied mixture. Continue to cook another 2-3 minutes to toast the pecans and coat them in the mixture.
- Remove from the heat and line a sheet tray with either parchment or wax paper. Pour the pecans on to the sheet tray and let cool 30 minutes to 1 hour. The candied mixture is a soft crumble so it will be easy to break apart when cooled.
- When the pecans are cool gently break them apart and add to any salad you wish or store in an airtight container. It will keep for 4 to 5 days.
If you are allergic to nuts you can use sunflower seeds. I suggest using 3/4 to 1 cup and continue with the directions as is. You can also use pine nuts as well or any other type of nut you prefer. If you use sunflower seeds make sure they are unsalted because if you use salted they will make the candied mixture way to salty. Unless the salty sweet taste is the taste you are going for. I find that using unsalted and adding the salt for the salty sweet variety is the way to go so you don’t chance the over salty part.
Remember- you can always add but you can not take out. Taste and adjust as you go.