candied pecans {easy homemade gift-giving}

We had our first big snowfall in the country this weekend. Well, not in the country, as in the United States of America. I mean the country, as in the area where our house is upstate. I figure you all probably knew what I was talking about, but the writer in me felt compelled to make it very clear. I have readers around the globe (it boggles my mind, really), and I didn’t want anyone to confuse my country with the country.

See how easy it is to get caught up on the little details? Something as simple as me coming here to share an easy recipe for a quick last-minute homemade gift has me pondering the clarity of my own words. Perhaps the simple things are the tasks that truly push us to look closer at the finer details of life. I’ve been contemplating this a lot lately.

Or maybe I’m just a nut. Get it? A nut? And the recipe is for candied pecans?

Clearly, I’m just here to entertain myself now. I’ve lost you all, no doubt.

For those who have patiently stay tuned, this recipe is a variation on the one in Homemade with Love. I nixed the cocoa because I wasn’t in a chocolate mood when I made them. While I was at it, adios went the paprika, too. I reached for the bottle of soy sauce on the counter, and added a generous splash into the bowl of egg white and water before whisking them up. The soy sauce brings the flavors together, but isn’t distinctive on its own. It acts as the bow on the present, so to speak.

If like me, you find yourself falling behind with Christmas just eight days away, this candied nuts recipe is a really quick and easy gift to make. I packed mine in festive tins I found at Michael’s, a craft supply store upstate. They look super pretty in clear mason jars, too. Hope you’re all having a great December. The days seem to be passing faster than I can keep up.

Candied Pecans

Makes about 8 cups (595 grams)

Music Pairing: Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses

1/2 cup (79 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated natural cane sugar

1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) fleur de sel

1 teaspoon (4 grams) ground cinnamon

1 large egg white

1 tablespoon (15 ml) cold water

Generous splash of soy sauce

1 pound (435 grams) shelled, raw pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 300F (180C). Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Add the sugars, cinnamon and salt to a small bowl. Stir with a fork until well mixed, making sure there are no lumps of sugar.

In a large bowl, use a whisk to beat the egg white, water and soy sauce together until foamy, but not stiff. Add the nuts, and stir well. Add the sugar mixture, and use a fork to stir, making sure to coat the nuts evenly.

Divide the nuts between the two prepared baking sheets, spreading them into a single layer. Bake them side by side, on the center rack of the oven, for 15 minutes. Remove the trays, and give the nuts a good stir, making sure to spread them back into a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes more.

Remove the trays from the oven, and set them on a wire rack to cool completely. Break up any large pieces of nut clusters once cooled. Store in an air-tight container, at room temperature for up to one month.

Comments

  • Taylor: I absolutely love candied pecans. They’re a favorite with my mom and I. Whenever we go to fairs, carnivals, or any other outing that has these nice and piping fresh, we always buy a bag (or two) and share them throughout our day. I may have to make some of these for her for Christmas!

    xoxo
    Taylor

    http://www.welcomehometaylor.com

  • Kathy – Panini Happy: Going a little nutty in the country?! In a very good way, of course. :-)

  • Jill: Your timing is PERFECT!! I am behind, and one of the gift recipients is a pecan lover. AND I misplaced my DYI spiced nuts recipe from last Christmas…so, thank you! Can’t wait to give these a try. Do you think it’d be just as good with other nuts, too? (Almonds? Walnuts?)

  • Louisa T.: Jennie, I have been somewhat of a closet follower of yours for several years now. I noticed something really wonderful in this post. You sound happy. Happier than you have in a long time. Happy holidays to your family!

  • Jennifer Perillo: It’ll defintely work with almonds and peanuts; I’ve used those both. I think walnut would be good, too.
    JP

  • Kathleen: Thank you, Jennie!! You’re a lifesaver — I needed another little thing to put with secretary gifts for tomorrow. This is just perfect!!! Merry Christmas to you & your beautiful girls.

  • Kay: DElightful!! Thank you!

  • Janet: I agree with Louisa T. You sound happy. At peace and happy. Now I feel happy too!

  • Angie | Big Bear’s Wife: I know quite a few people that would love to get a box of these! yum!

  • Molly W: Hi, Jennie! I made these today, and they are delicious! However, I wanted to point out that there appears to be a typo/mistake in the recipe. 1 pound of pecans would be about 4 cups, not 8 cups (435 grams is about a pound). When I realized this, I adjusted and added double of everything else to accommodate the 8 cups of pecans. Thanks for the tasty treat!
    JP’s Note: Hi Molly. The recipe actually makes 8 cups as listed. The pecans fit differently in the measured cups once cooked because of the coating, if that makes sense. It results in less volume per cup, than if you simply measured plain pecans.

  • Nat: HI Jen, I cannot believe how late I am in reading your holiday posts! They would have calmed my nerves through the frenzy of christmas prepping lol. Well I just popped in to say that you have reaffirmed my faith in good writing and humanity. While it maybe true that most of us here don’t know one another in real life, you connect with us on such a personal and honest level. It really helps some of us realise that there’s hope yet for goodness, kindness and sincerity in mankind. OK, I didn’t mean to get all loftily philosophic, lol, but it is true. Have a great week. :)

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