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Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans

User Rating 4 Star Rating (7 Reviews)


Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans
(c) 2009 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.
This recipe for Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans is a wonderful all-purpose candied nut recipe. The pecans, which have a crunchy mahogany coating of sugar and spice, can be used in candies and desserts, or are equally good when topping salads or savory dishes. If you are very sensitive to spices, you might reduce the cayenne, and if you’re a pepper enthusiast, feel free to increase it. The amount as written gives the nuts a subtle but noticeable “kick."

You can use other nuts in place of the pecans, but pecans are my favorite because their sweet taste goes perfectly with this slightly spicy, slightly savory preparation.


  • 2 cups pecan pieces or halves
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp real maple syrup
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Spread the pecans on the baking sheet and toast them in the oven until dark and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Stir every 3 or 4 minutes.

3. While the pecans are toasting, prepare the coating mixture. Microwave the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl until melted. Stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne.

4. Once the pecans are fragrant, remove them from the oven and pour the hot nuts into the coating mixture. (Be careful as it might splutter and hiss.) Stir until the nuts are evenly coated, and pour them back onto the foil-lined baking sheet and spread them in an even layer.

5. Bake for another 10 minutes, stirring after every 3-4 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the nuts from the oven and allow them to cool and crisp up on the baking sheet.

6. Once cool, break the nuts apart or chop them coarsely. Store Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
The perfect spiced pecan!, Member cuggle

I make candied/spiced pecans every holiday season. I've made the ones with the egg whites, corn syrup, on the stove in a cast iron pan with cumin and all sorts of other methods and ingredients. I have used recipes on Food Network, All Recipes, Epicurious and several others but was never totally satisfied. This is by far the very best! Great balance of salty sweet. The 2 step oven process lends to a perfectly toasted candied nut. They are simple and the result is amazing! I have finally found the perfect candied pecan!

18 out of 18 people found this helpful.

See all 7 reviews

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