Caramelized Spiced Pecans will bring just the right amount of crunch, spice and sweetness to almost anything you add them to. Or, fill a bowl with them and put them out for a nosh at a party.
Sweet. Spicy. Earthy. Crunchy. You can't eat just one.
How to Use Spiced Pecans
- They're fabulous in salads.
- Serve them in a bowl as an appetizer.
- Prepare this caramelized pecans recipe before making your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and then add in about 1 cup of them, crushed. And please report back and let me know what you think.
- Spiced nuts like these pecans are also great crushed and sprinkled over roasted vegetables (especially cauliflower).
Step one: Mix pecans with spices, honey and olive oil, and spread them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Why Make Them at Home
Sure, you can find various versions of these nuts in markets, but I promise you, making them yourself is better.
Imagine trying them while they're still warm, just after you take them out of the oven. Delicious, right?
I think you'll discover, these caramelized spiced pecans taste much better than the store-bought versions -- and contain no chemicals or preservatives.
Step two. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 12 minutes. Do not worry when you see that the spice mix has melted and spread out around the pecans. When you mix them, everything will come together.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- The amount of cayenne pepper you use will vary. I like a little heat to balance the sweetness, and I usually use ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon. Use as much or a little as you'd like.
- When you initially pull these out of the oven, you will see that the spice mixture has melted into one piece connecting the pecans. Do not worry! Use a spatula to mix them and everything will come together. (See images above and below.)
- The nuts will be sticky for a little while after they come out of the oven, but once they cool, the coating should harden.
- You can also make caramelized pecans just as a sweet treat -- use cinnamon instead of the cumin and skip the cayenne.
How long will they keep?
You can make these up to three days ahead of time, keeping them stored in an air-tight container in a cool dark place.
If you prepare the caramelized spiced pecans in advance for use in a salad or another dish, I suggest hiding them from your friends, from your family, and . . . from yourself. They are very tempting!
More delicious pecan recipes:
- Pecan Crust for Caramel Pumpkin Pie
- Pecan Crusted Baked Acorn Squash
- Pecan Praline Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Bars
Caramelized Spiced Pecans
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ⅛ to ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper* (depending on the amount of heat you want)
- 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup raw pecan halves
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the spices with the sugar and salt. In another small mixing bowl, add the olive oil and honey to the pecans, and stir to coat them. Then sprinkle with the spice mixture and stir to blend evenly.
- Spread this into a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in the preheated 350°F oven until the nuts are very aromatic, a deeper brown, and sizzling, about 12 minutes.
- Let the nuts cool for about 5 minutes. Then use a flat-bottomed spatula to mix them with the melted spice mixture.* Then let them cool for at least another 10 minutes before breaking them apart and serving/using.
These may be my new go to version. Excellent balance of sweet with a little back end heat. Made these as an appetizer to have out and they were gone before I turned back around.
Ed, I'm thrilled they were a hit! Happy Holiday's! 🙂
They are seriously addictive! I can't have them around or I would binge them!!
I'm the same way, Angie. They never quite make it into a salad. 😉 ~Valentina
Ben | Havocinthekitchen
Caramelized pecans (or any nuts) are a very dangerous item in our house because they tend to disappear in no time (And in large quantities lol). But in my excuse, who can resist sweet, salty, and savoury combinations, right? That's a perfect snacking material! 🙂
I'm with you 100%, Ben. Always hard to resist the sweet-salty combo. (Especially in a snack bowl.) 🙂 ~Valentina