These easy stovetop candied pecans are a little bit smokey, a little bit spicy, and absolutely perfect for Autumn salads, Thanksgiving side dishes, or all on their own. They’re vegan, gluten-free, they take just 5 minutes to make and 20 minutes to harden in the fridge!
It’s almost Thanksgiving and I wanted to spice up my Brussels sprouts this year, so I decided to add a few of these smokey, candied beauties to them. They’re so easy to prepare, not too spicy (you can make them spicy though if you wish), and simply delicious.
You can also add these to recipes like my Thanksgiving Beet and Pear salad, or add them to ice cream! The mix of cinnamon, smokey paprika, and cayenne is such an Autumn flavor delight!
Why This Recipe is Special
They really take just 5 minutes (or less) to prepare – All you have to do is put all the ingredients in a pan on the stovetop, swish them around for 2 minutes and pour everything out on parchment. No baking. No brushing with egg whites. Just a swish, pour, and cool in the fridge.
They simply taste like “Autumn” – You can make just about any Thanksgiving side dish taste like “Thanksgiving” with these. The flavors of cinnamon and smoked paprika will transform your standard Brussels, string beans, carrots, butternut squash, asparagus, or cauliflower into 5-star Thanksgiving masterpieces.
They add a pop of color to your side dishes – Autumn dishes are all about color for me, and these add such a lovely red pop when sprinkled on top.
brown sugar – The recipe calls for dark brown sugar, but if you only have light in your pantry, it will also work just as well.
pecans – You can also use walnuts or cashews.
cayenne pepper – This is not a spicy recipe. There’s just enough cayenne to give them a tiny zing. But if you would like to spice them up, feel free to double, or even triple the amount.
vanilla extract – as always, use a real, not imitation, extract.
sea salt – You can also use kosher or any flaky salt.
How to Make These Pecans – Step by Step
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
2. To a pan, add 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar, ½ tsp. cinnamon, ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp. smoked paprika, ¼ tsp. vanilla extract, ¼ tsp. sea salt and 1 tbsp. water. Mix it all together and turn on MEDIUM heat.
3. Allow sauce to bubble for 1-2 minutes, then add 1 cup pecans. Stir them around until each is thoroughly coated in the sauce.
4. Pour pecans onto the parchment in 1 layer. Do your best to spread them out a bit. Refrigerate them for 20 minutes to harden them. Once cooled, pull any apart that are stuck together with your fingers and add them to your favorite recipes.
Nope! They’re supposed to be a bit sticky, even after they cool. I think they’re more delicious that way. But if you want them to be more dry, simply bake them on parchment paper at 350 F. (175 C.) for 5-7 minutes. after you’ve mixed them in the sauce.
It depends on what that dish is, but the answer is yes for most. For example, if you add them to Brussels sprouts, they can be easily reheated along with the sprouts on a baking pan.
They will last 2-3 weeks if stored in an airtight container. You can also freeze them for 18 months to 2 years, although they may be a little rubbery when thawed.
A Few Tasty Recipes To Add These To
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- parchment-lined baking sheet or plate
- frying pan
- mixing spoon
- 1 cup pecans
- 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper – or more if you want them spicier
- ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp. sea salt – or kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. real vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. water
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
- To a pan, add 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar, ½ tsp. cinnamon, ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper, ¼ tsp. smoked paprika, ¼ tsp. vanilla extract, ¼ tsp. sea salt and 1 tbsp. water. Mix it all together and turn on a MEDIUM heat.
- Allow sauce to bubble for 1-2 minutes, then add 1 cup pecans. Stir them around until each is thoroughly coated in the sauce.
- Pour pecans onto the parchment in 1 layer. Do your best to spread them out a bit. Refrigerate them for 20 minutes to harden them. Once cooled, pull any that are stuck together apart with your fingers and set them aside. While the pecans refrigerate, make the bacon and Brussels.