Crunchy and lightly sweet, these candied pecans (or glazed pecans) are made with maple syrup and warm spices. Use candied pecans for salad, as a snack or cocktail hour nibble, and on cheese boards and platters. The only downside is they are dangerously delicious. The good thing is these are lower sugar than many recipes and not as sticky.
For this candied pecans recipe, start them stove top and finish in the oven in just 15 minutes. Cool and package in an airtight container.
A Client Favorite
When I was catering, I used these on fall salads including pomegranate seeds, a cheese of some sort (goat or blue), and apple or pear wedges. Sometimes I would bag them in little cello bags with ribbon as a parting dinner gift or holiday thank you. They were always a hit.
Many candied pecan recipes use a ton of sugar, but it's not necessary for great taste and crunch. I crafted my recipe with less sugar using 1 ½ tablespoons of maple syrup and a tablespoon of brown sugar (and you can use golden monk fruit if desired). A nice handful has on 3 grams of sugar. Great for low-carb diets, keto diets, and those reducing their sugar intake.
How to Make Candied Pecans
Melt butter with maple syrup, brown sugar, olive oil, a pinch of salt and spices in a wide pan. Add pecan halves and stir to coat. Scatter the nuts onto a parchment or foil lined baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes in the oven. The nuts will crisp as they cool.
For spices, I use Pumpkin Pie Spice, a heavenly aromatic combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, mace, allspice and cloves. Can you use other spices? Of course! Use one or two, or create your own blend.
Make spicy candied pecans by adding cayenne pepper or ground chipotle pepper for a Southwestern twist.
Sugar and Calories
With many of us actively reducing sugar in our diet, beware that anything with glazed or candied in the title usually has a lot of sugar. My candied pecans recipe are not as sugar coated or as sweet as many recipes.
Second, it takes approximately 21 pecan halves to make up a full ounce. That's a generous handful of pecans. Far more than you need for a salad. A half ounce of nuts (about 10) has just 1.6 grams of sugar, and 109 calories.
For brown sugar, use a natural, organic brown sugar, not a fake brown sugar that is really just white sugar with added molasses and coloring. For maple syrup, get the real deal, not the fake stuff that is nothing but artificially colored corn syrup. Grade B maple has a richer, stronger flavor.
How to Enjoy Them
- Candied pecans for salad
- Chopped and sprinkle over baby green beans or Brussels sprouts
- Chop and garnish soup
- Add a few to morning steel cut oats
- Enjoy a small handful at cocktail hour
- Package a batch or even a half batch in a decorative jar as a housewarming gift
For another tasty treat try the maple roasted cashews. Beware, they are addictive!
Maple Candied Pecans
- Half sheet baking tray
- 1 ½ tablespoons dark maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or golden monk fruit
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend or any warm spices
- 2 pinches of sea salt
- 1 pound raw pecan halves
- Pre-heat an oven to 325°F and ready a baking tray with parchment or foil. Over medium low heat in a sauté pan or skillet, add butter, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, spice and salt. Melt and stir until smooth. Add pecans and stir to coat evenly with a non-stick spatula.
- Spread nuts evenly on the baking sheet. Bake until nuts are golden brown and you can smell the spices, about 15 minutes. Do not let them get too dark. Allow nuts to cool. They will crisp upon cooling. Package in an airtight container.