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Maple Bourbon Candied Pecans

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Candied pecans are amazing and these no refined sugar Maple Bourbon Pecans are even better! Sweet maple syrup, smoky bourbon, rich cinnamon, and a little spicy heat makes these roasted pecans outrageously addictive! A delicious sweet-salty mix.

When I make candied bourbon pecans, the entire house smells like fall! Cinnamon, maple and buttery, bourbon glazed roasted pecans! I could have eaten the whole batch! They are delicious as toppings on ice cream, oatmeal, pancakes, salad, food gifts and more

If you love maple & bourbon, then you might try these fabulous recipes; Maple Bourbon Sour, Maple Pumpkin Scones, Bourbon Caramel Sauce.

Small wire fry basket lined with parchment paper, holding maple bourbon pecans with wooden spoon, maple syrup and bourbon jars in background.

With the Kentucky Derby coming up, I’ve joined other talented bloggers making bourbon inspired recipes! A bowl of bourbon pecans to nosh on while cheering on your favorite horse would be perfect!

I developed this recipe as part of a Kentucky Derby Party Bourbon inspired recipe collaboration! Check out ALL of the great recipes here!

Speaking of Derby food, you might try this delicious Mint Julep or Blackberry Bourbon Moscow Mule and for dessert, the one and only Kentucky Butter Cake!!

Left to right, ingredient image for Maple Bourbon Pecans. Salt, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, butter, bourbon, maple syrup and pecans, on wood with neutral colored napkin and bottles of maple syrup and bourbon in background.

Ingredients for Bourbon Pecans

  • Raw Pecan Halves | the star of the recipe (psst, try other nuts too or mixed nuts!!)
  • Real Maple syrup | I used bourbon barrel aged maple syrup, if you haven’t tried it, it is fabulous! Pure maple syrup is fine, but if you can find bourbon barrel aged, it’s so worth it. I purchase mine at a farmer’s market in Vail each year, but have also found seasonally at Trader Joe’s.
  • Butter or Olive Oil | I used butter, because it’s only a tablespoon!
  • Bourbon | Any bourbon of your choice, if you prefer not to use bourbon, may I suggest using a good vanilla extract or Bourbon Vanilla extract.
  • Kosher Salt | adds salty balance to the sweet and enhances the flavors.
  • Ground Cinnamon | Use a good quality cinnamon, this one is my favorite.
  • Cayenne Pepper | Adjust your heat up or down depending on your taste!

What is Bourbon Maple Syrup

Barrel aged Bourbon maple syrup is simply maple syrup that has been aged a bit in barrels that formerly were used to age, well bourbon.

It is not an alcoholic syrup, but certainly takes on the flavors, taste and nuances of the bourbon that was aged in that barrel.

It’s amazing! Use it in drinks, a drizzle over glazed carrots or Brussels, in a brown butter glaze — the sky’s the limit!

pouring pecan halves onto parchment lined baking sheet that have been mixed with slurry

Are Candied Pecans the Same as Praline Pecans?

Pralines originated in France, but the European version differs somewhat from the one in the United States.

The original French confection featured almonds instead of pecans. When French settlers moved to the southern U.S., they found few almonds but plenty of pecan trees.

They substituted pecans in their recipe while adding cream to thicken the mixture, resulting in a fudge-like candy. (Source)

spreading wet pecans in even layer using spatula on parchment lined baking sheet.

What Are Praline Pecans?

While pecan pralines are more of a candy or confection, praline pecans give you all the deliciousness of pecan pralines, without the additional ingredients.

Typically praline pecans usually use brown sugar, which is why they are sometimes called sugar pecans.

These are slightly different because we don’t use refined sugar in this recipe, instead our sweetness comes from pure maple syrup.

close-up shot of raw pecan halves in small bowl, with maple syrup and bourbon in background.

How Do I make Spicy Candied Pecans?

This recipe uses an oven vs. stovetop, nothing wrong with stovetop glazed pecans, but I love the enhanced flavor you get from slow roasting these in the oven; leaving them shiny, crunchy, and perfectly glazed.

  1. Start by simply placing all ingredients (except pecans) in a medium to large bowl, whisk to mix.
  2. Add pecans and stir to coat the nuts evenly with the liquid and spice mixture.
  3. Pour onto parchment lined baking sheet and spread evenly in one layer, the maple bourbon slurry might puddle, but don’t worry.
  4. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 10 minutes, then stirring every 5 minutes until the liquid is gone for a total of about 25 minutes.
close up shot of maple bourbon candied pecans in glass bowl with red and white striped tea towel in background

WAYS TO USE BOURBON GLAZED PECANS

  • Oats | Chopped or whole mixed into oatmeal, either hot or cold overnight oats or muesli!
  • Add to a yogurt parfait the the best, best, best tasting yogurt ever!
  • Make a speciality granola as food gifts!
  • Chopped and sprinkled on top of pancakes or waffles.
  • ICE CREAM| My personal favorite! Make everyday ice cream into an elegant dessert by pouring bourbon salted caramel sauce over vanilla ice cream, topping with chopped praline pecans. Swooning over here!
  • Sprinkle on top of cakes, pies, muffins and more.
  • Salads | Add to any salad and elevate the crunch and taste factor x 10! These would be my favorite salads to add to, Sweet Maple Apple and Harvest Apple Salad.
  • Food Gifts | Make up a couple of batches and give as food gifts to friends, these pecans are perfect for snacking by the handful too! (See below for all sorts of great food gift ideas!)
4 different designs of we're nuts about you gift tags.
cello bag filled with maple bourbon pecans tied with twine with a wooden tag handwritten Bourbon Maple Pecans sitting on sliced wood piece with red syrup jar and wooden tablespoon in background.

How will you use these delicious roasted cinnamon pecans? Pop a comment below the recipe!

PIN this recipe to your favorite Snacks & Nuts board!

Pinterest Image with spilled white bowl of candied pecans and text overlay stating Not Your Ordinary Candied Pecans, Maple Bourbon!

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Food Gift Ideas

Gifts from the kitchen are gifts from the heart! Not only will you be proud to gift these items, but you'd be pretty thrilled to receive them yourself!

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14 Comments

  1. These will make great hostess gifts! I am so excited to use the cute little containers I got last year after the holidays! Great idea! Thanks!

  2. These sound awesome and thanks for all the unique ideas of how to use them! I’ll definitely be making some for gifts (and keeping a few for my morning oatmeal!)