Candied nuts are a sweet and simple way to enhance your autumn cooking. These candied maple pecans are great on their own, placed in a bowl for nibbling, and are also a nice addition to a cheese plate or salad. My girlfriend Jenny says they are like her “little friend,” as she mixes them into ice cream, oatmeal and pumpkin bread and enjoys them as a snack. While they are best the day they are made, you can candy the pecans in advance and store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Candied Maple Pecans
makes 1 quart
1 pound pecan halves
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two half-sheet pans or rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide pecans between the two pans and bake until just fragrant and lightly toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes. Do not let pecans come close to burning.
Meanwhile, combine maple syrup and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted and the syrup begins to bubble around the edges of the saucepan, add the toasted pecans. Cook pecans in the bubbling maple mixture until it thickens and nicely coats the nuts, stirring constantly using a rubber scraper or spatula, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Scrape pecans and any maple mixture left in the saucepan onto one of the sheet pans with parchment. Use the scraper to spread the nuts into an even layer and cool completely. Once cooled, store pecans in an airtight container.
See more basic recipes from our Autumn Appetizers Crate.