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Candied Pecans

I pack these easy candied pecans in jars tied with pretty ribbon for family and friends. My granddaughter gave some to a doctor at the hospital where she works, and he said they were too good to be true! —Opal Turner, Hughes Springs, Texas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    about 1 pound (8 servings)


  • 2-3/4 cups pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Place pecans in a shallow baking pan in a 250° oven for 10 minutes or until warmed. Grease a 15x10x1-in. baking pan with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside.
  • Grease the sides of a large heavy saucepan with remaining butter; add sugar, water, salt and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Cover; cook 2 minutes to dissolve any sugar crystals that may form on the sides of pan.
  • Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 236° (soft-ball stage). Remove from the heat; add vanilla. Stir in warm pecans until evenly coated.
  • Spread onto prepared baking pan. Bake at 250° for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Spread on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet to cool.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • We like pecans but you can use almonds, too!
  • These candied nuts make great gifts.Try these food gift ideas, too.

  • Editor's Note
    We recommend that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bringing water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on your test.
    Nutrition Facts
    2 ounce-weight: 380 calories, 30g fat (4g saturated fat), 8mg cholesterol, 177mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 4g fiber), 3g protein.
    Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.


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    Average Rating:
    • premierwar
      Dec 15, 2020

      Love the pecan version and pretty darn easy- am making with almonds right now- really love the final product and will be my go to recipe. Thanks Opal!

    • annepaulette
      Oct 29, 2020

      No comment left

    • susaneagan
      Feb 14, 2020

      These are wonderful. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    • Alexis
      Dec 19, 2019

      I did not have a candy thermometer and was really scared of over cooking the candy. I did the soft ball test in cold water but I'm worried I pulled it off the heat too soon. The mixturre was super runny. Is it supposed to be? They are in the oven now. Can you put a best guess of how many minutes to cook it without stirring? And at what heat, high or low. Also covered or uncovered? Thank you

    • Amber
      Oct 7, 2019

      This was the first time i'd ever made candied pecans (or any kind of candy for that matter!). This recipe was easy to follow and most importantly came out DELICIOUS!! It was hard to stop eating them they were THAT GOOD!! We'll be making these again for the upcoming holidays!

    • Rebecca1492
      Nov 22, 2018

      My husband is a fan of candied nuts, and they are so expensive in the store I decided to see if it would be too difficult to make my own. These are MUCH better than what you buy in the store, and not too tough to make. My husband ate so many he tole me to never make them again because he cannot control himself. Then a week later asked me to make them again. The most difficult part (for me) was gauging the soft ball stage, since I didn't have a candy thermometer, so I had to use the cold water method. My husband and I loved these so much I decided to get a candy thermometer for the next time I made them - which was for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I am positive the family will be thrilled.

    • B
      Nov 7, 2018

      OH.MY.GOSH! These are THE BEST! Five stars don’t even come close to measuring how good these really are, and easy to make too! I don’t even like pecans, but I’m hooked.

    • Bonnie
      Sep 30, 2018

      This recipe is almost the same one my sister gave me almost 25 years ago when she lived in Texas. It's absolutely fabulous as well as addicting. Her recipe said when spreading out to cool, separate with a fork so they don't clump together. The problem I'm finding these past couple years is the cost of pecans. Even at Walmart, they are cost prohibitive in Minnesota. I need four lbs to satisfy kids and grandkids and that amounts to over $50.

    • Mary
      Sep 23, 2017

      No comment left

    • johnson9456
      Aug 18, 2017

      I had lost my mother in-laws recipe for sugared walnuts so I have been Looking for a goo recipe to sugar nuts. My 83 yr old Aunt request that I make them for her several times a year. I cannot tell you how much she liked these and asked for more. I just wanted to Thank Opal Turner for submitting this recipe. She has made my Aunt very happy and I really appreciate it. THANK YOU!!!!!!!