This 5-ingredient Maple Candied Pecans recipe is naturally sweetened with just maple syrup, and it’s perfect for snacking, sprinkling on salads, and giving as homemade holiday gifts. Cooking time may vary according to the size of your batch and pan.
- 2 cups raw pecan halves
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
- Combine all ingredients in a sauté pan, and toss with a spoon or spatula until the pecans are evenly coated and the spices have mostly dissolved into the maple syrup.
- Cook the mixture on medium heat until the maple syrup comes to a low simmer, stirring occasionally. (We’re looking for small, gentle bubbles here — not a vigorous boil.)
- Reduce heat to medium-low (or whatever temperature works on your stovetop to maintain a low simmer). Continue simmering the mixture for about 20-25 minutes — stirring often — until the liquid in the maple syrup has evaporated and its sugars have crystalized. The maple syrup will go through the following stages: (1) Thin and liquidy: It will simmer and bubble easily, and the pecans will be lightly coated. Stir every 1-2 minutes or so. (2) Thick and syrupy: The bubbles will start to get thicker and slower, and the pecans will start to stick together more. (3) Crystalized and grainy: Once the maple syrup has almost completely evaporated (there may still be some tiny bubbles on the bottom of your pan), you’ll notice that it starts to crystalize and look like microscopic little grains of sugar on the pecans. This is good — it means that they’re nearly ready to go! Once you notice that the maple syrup has just begun to crystalize, go ahead and cook the pecans for 1 more minute. Stir often, every 20 seconds or so.
- Immediately pour the candied pecans out onto a flat surface (like a cookie sheet) covered with parchment paper. Use your spatula to break apart the clumps and spread the pecans out in an even layer. (You can also do this with your fingers, once the pecans have cooled a bit). Then let them cool completely until they reach room temperature.
- Serve immediately and enjoy! Or, feel free to store the candied pecans in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.