Sweetness meets crunch in the most delightful way! Let’s transform simple nuts into a delectable treat that’s impossible to resist!
Perfect for snacking, gifting, or adding a festive touch to your gatherings, these candied nuts are not only incredibly easy to make but are also wonderfully versatile. With a short list of ingredients and easy preparation, you’ll have a batch of the sweetest, crunchiest, most delicious nutty treats!
Why You’ll Love This Candied Nuts Recipe
Ready to discover your new favorite nutty treat? Here’s why you’ll fall in love with this candied nuts recipe at first bite!
- Effortless and quick: Simple steps with minimal ingredients make this a hassle-free recipe.
- Versatile snack: Perfect for parties, homemade gifts, as a salad topper, or just a sweet treat.
- Customizable: Easily tweak the spices to your taste or occasion.
- Irresistibly delicious: You’ll love the perfect balance of sweetness and crunch!
What You’ll Need
Let’s take a look at the ingredients needed to make candied nuts. For ingredient quantities and full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Pecans – You can change the nuts in this recipe as you like. See my variations ideas below.
- Egg white – This helps the sugar and spices stick to the nuts. Remember that eggs separate more easily when they’re cold.
- Vanilla extract
- Brown sugar – Dark brown sugar supplies a rich, caramel-like flavor to the nuts. You can use light brown sugar if you like.
- Granulated sugar
- Cinnamon – Make sure your spices are fresh by giving them a sniff. They should smell fresh and aromatic.
How to Make Candied Nuts
This no-fuss recipe comes together quickly and easily. Let’s get started!
- Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 275°F. Lightly spray a half sheet pan with cooking spray.
- Combine the nuts. Stir together the pecans and almonds.
- Add the egg white and vanilla. With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the egg white and vanilla extract until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. (This should take 2 to 3 minutes.) Add to the nut mixture, and fold together until the nuts are coated well.
- Add the sugars and spices. Whisk together the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Gently mix into the nut mixture until the nuts are coated well.
- Bake. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared pan. Bake, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, until the nuts appear dry and the sugar has crystallized. This will take 30 to 45 minutes.
- Cool. Remove the pan from the oven, and allow the nuts to cool completely before serving.
Tips for Success
These candied nuts are a breeze to make, but there are a few things to keep in mind to help yours turn out perfectly.
- Use fresh nuts. You’ll get better flavor and crunch with fresh nuts.
- Use a good baking pan. The quality and type of baking sheet you use can affect the outcome of your candied nuts. Heavy-duty pans are generally better at distributing heat evenly.
- Don’t line the pan. I almost always encourage lining baking pans, but this is an exception. The sugar coating caramelizes better when in direct contact with the hot pan. This results in a better texture and a more pronounced caramel flavor.
- Stir regularly. Stir the nuts occasionally while baking for uniform coating and to avoid clumping.
- Allow the nuts to cool completely. That helps them have that perfect crunch.
- Avoid humidity. Make your candied nuts on a dry day, as humidity can make them sticky.
There are many ways to tweak this recipe to suit your tastes. Here are a few simple ideas to try:
- Use different nuts. If you just want to make candied pecans or candied almonds, you can certainly do that. You can also substitute most any nut or use a combination. Walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, and peanuts are all good choices.
- Amp up the almond. Substitute almond extract for the vanilla.
- Use a spice blend. If you have a favorite spice blend, use that in place of the cinnamon and nutmeg. A pumpkin pie spice is a great choice, as is my fall spice blend.
- Add a salty bite. A pinch of sea salt or flaky salt can add a lovely contrast to the sweetness.
- Go for a spicy kick. For something less sweet and more spicy, try using chili powder or cayenne pepper instead of cinnamon and nutmeg. Adjust to your tastes.
Once you’ve made your homemade candied nuts, the next step is sharing the joy! Packaging them beautifully not only makes for a heartwarming gift but also adds a personal touch. Let’s explore some creative and charming ways to package your candied nuts, turning them into the perfect present for any occasion. (And see my favorite holiday packaging in my Amazon storefront for more fun ideas!)
- Mason jars. A classic and charming option. Tie a ribbon around the neck and add a custom label for a personal touch.
- Cellophane bags. These are transparent, which beautifully showcases the nuts. Seal with a decorative sticker or tie with a colorful ribbon.
- Tins. Use decorative tins for a more durable packaging option. They’re great for mailing and can be reused.
- Reusable snack bags. For an eco-friendly option, use reusable snack bags. They’re practical and can be part of the gift.
- Decorative bowls. Small ceramic or glass bowls can be a part of the gift, too. Wrap in cellophane and tie with a ribbon.
How to Store
After your candied nuts have cooled completely, transfer them to a sealed container. Make sure the container is airtight, so that moisture doesn’t get into the container and cause the nuts to become sticky. The nuts should keep at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, although they’ll likely be at their best within a week. For longer storage, place the container in the refrigerator for up to a month. Let the nuts come to room temperature before serving.
Can Candied Nuts Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze candied nuts! Place the cooled nuts in an airtight, freezer-safe container. They should keep in the freezer up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.