Crunchy, lightly sweetened, simple candied nuts have a deep roasted flavor and are perfect on salads, chicken, fish or just to nibble.
I’ve tried all sorts of candied nuts, ones with an egg white wash, loads of sugar that you watch closely as it caramelizes, and even powdered sugar. This is by far my favorite recipe, the simplest and the least amount of sugar!
Before toasting your nuts; first make your brown sugar slurry by placing the packed brown sugar and water into a small bowl…
then the salt…
Add the vanilla…and give it a good stir to mix all the ingredients…
Set aside brown sugar slurry to pour on nuts. Grab a sheet of parchment paper to be ready to place candied nuts to cool.
PRO TIP | Like a little heat? Sprinkle a little cayenne pepper into the slurry. Like more of a spiced nut, throw in a shake of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg into the slurry.
Pecans shown here, but try other nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, even macadamias.
Place nuts into heated sauté pan stirring over medium heat, toss around until you smell a wonderful nutty aroma, watch closely so they don’t burn, you should see some slight toasting on the nuts, just takes 2-3 minutes.
As soon as nuts are toasted, pour brown sugar slurry on top of nuts…
Stir or toss nuts until fully covered with brown sugar glaze, it’ll bubble and sizzle nicely, just about 20-30 seconds though, they will burn fast.
Remove from heat and turn out onto parchment paper or foil to cool. Separating nuts as much as possible.
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- 1 cup pecans | halves or pieces (or replace with walnut halves or pieces, slivered or sliced almonds, or even macadamia nuts)
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons water
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Dash of Cayenne Pepper (OPTIONAL) for spicer nuts
- Dash of cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg for sweetly spiced nuts, delicious on their own (OPTIONAL)
- In a small prep bowl, combine brown sugar, water, vanilla and kosher salt (if using optional spice place those in the slurry as well).
- Stir and set this next to the stove, the nuts will go quickly.
- Rip off a piece of parchment paper and set aside to toss hot candied nuts on to for cooling.
- Heat saute pan over medium heat, toss in nuts and stirring or tossing constantly toast for 2-3 minutes, until a lovely nutty aroma can be smelled.
- Quickly drizzle slurry over the nuts and stir until completely coated for 15-20 seconds.
- Transfer immediately to parchment paper, spreading out so they aren't clumped.
- Cool before tossing in salad, or serve warm as a treat.