Okay, so I admit that candied nuts are something I’ve long associated with the winter holidays– they’re so great for eating by the handful along with all of those rich, cheesy, sugary holiday foods– but there’s no reason to restrict one’s intake of these deliciously crunchy, sweet-savory snacks to the winter months! They go just as well with bright, crispy salads as they do with melty brie (mmm, brie…). Brown sugar gives them depth, while cinnamon gives them a hint of spice. I’ve been known to add 1/8 tsp. of cayenne pepper for an extra kick, but you don’t have to if you want something a bit milder.
I will note that I’ve tried different methods of getting a nice, crunchy coating on the pecans, and the egg white method is the only way to go. Works every time, and no hassle with trying to caramelize sugar!
1 lb. pecan halves
1 egg white
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. In a large-ish bowl, whisk egg white until soft peaks form.
3. Gently fold in pecan halves until fully coated.
4. Mix together sugars, cinnamon, and salt, and stir into coated pecans.
5. Spread pecans out onto a Silpat-lined baking sheet (you can also use foil or parchment) and bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Pecans should be browned and slightly crunchy– they will firm up as they cool. Really, you can go by smell– they should smell nice and toasty, but not burned.
6. Remove sheet pan from the oven and allow nuts to cool completely before breaking up and storing in an air-tight container.