Food Fun Friday - Candied Pecans


I was looking for a simple gift for my kids' teachers that I could make at home. I love the taste of cinnamon sugar nuts, but I always thought they were really complicated to make. Turns out they are fairly simple. The only issue with making these to give away is that you end up eating a ton and having a lot less to give away than you thought. I adapted this recipe from Taste of Home.

See how we made them by clicking read more.
If you would like to purchase any of the supplies we used, links are provided in the supply list. A small portion of the sales help support Mess for Less. Thank you!

You will need:
  • 6 cups of pecan halves
  • 3 tablespoons of softened butter 
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • Candy thermometer
This will make 2 pounds of candied pecans. You can easily halve this recipe if you don't need this many. 

I bought the nuts in bulk at Costco. I think this recipe would work great with almonds. I plan to try those next!

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place the pecans on some ungreased shallow baking pans and when the oven is warm, heat for 10 minutes.

Take 1 tablespoon of butter and spread on the sides of a large saucepan. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon and water. 

Cook this mixture on low heat while stirring until the sugar is dissolved. When the sugar has dissolved, continue cooking and stirring, now on medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. When it starts boiling, cover and cook for 2 more minutes. Uncover and continue cooking (now without stirring) on medium heat until the mixture reaches a temperature of 236 degrees. You will need a candy thermometer for this step.

When it reaches 236 degrees, remove the mixture from the heat and add the vanilla. Next add the warmed pecans and stir to coat them with the mixture.

Use the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to grease the pans. 

Add the coated pecans and place trays back in the 250 degree oven for 30 minutes. Stir the pecans every 10 minutes. 

When you take the pecans out of the oven the sugar should have started to crystallize. If it is still in a syrupy stage, just put them back in the oven for a few more minutes.

When done, place pecans on wax paper to cool. When cooled, place in a sealed container. That is, if you don't eat them all up right then and there. I packed them in mason jars and added a sticker and ribbon for a yummy present that you can feel proud to give!

For another great snack treat try Birthday Cake Popcorn.

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  1. Okay....these wouldn't even make it out of my house, lol!!

    I love candied pecans or pralines yummy!! For summer vacation the hubs and I went to New Orlenas and I think I bought pecans from ever corner that was selling...the hubs doesn't care for them. So I was lucky I didn't have to share.

    These look pretty easy to make, I will definitely have to give them a try.

  2. Oh. my. goodness. These look SO delicious! I wouldn't share. Nope, no way. Thanks so much for linking up at Shine on Fridays! I'm pinning these suckers!

  3. These looI have a link party called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop and would love to have you share this and any other posts with everyone. It runs from Wednesday through midnight Sunday. Here is the link to the party.
    Debi @ Adorned From Abovek deliciuos.

  4. Great pictures and I wanted this recipe. I love to put them in salads too. I would love for you to visit me at
    New follower,
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

  5. These photos are so beautiful. The pecans look like you could just reach in and scoop them up.

  6. Oh snap. I'm so pinning this recipe. My mouth thanks you, my hips, not so much. ;)

  7. This recipe sounds DELICIOUS!!!! I love pecans, and love nuts for a snack, this sounds perfect! Thanks for sharing, they look wonderful!

  8. Ohmigosh these look so good! Thanks for sharing:)


  9. Love these they remind me of Pralines from South Carolina and Georgia.

  10. These do not go well with my New Year's Resolution, but boy do they look great!!!! :-)

  11. do you think they can be done without a candy thermometer? they look so yummy

    1. If you have a regular digital meat thermometer that should work too. You just need something that will give you the exact temperature reading.

  12. My mouth is literally watering! Thanks for linking up to my link party! :)

  13. Oh, delicious!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  14. If I make this for gifts and put in mason jars, how long would they keep??

    1. Christina, We made ours a few days before we gave them, so I don't know how long they would keep. I did package them in mason jars though.