Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans Are an Elegant Holiday Treat and They’re Surprisingly Easy to Make

When I was growing up, my mom made tons of Christmas candies, cookies, and brownies, and about half of the candies she made were “grown-up” treats that didn’t appeal to me at the time. For example, peanut brittle wasn’t something that I noticed until I was a teenager, and she made some “strawberry balls” that consisted of nuts and (I think) dried strawberries. When I had them later on in life, I loved them, but she sort of pushed the Christmas cookies, fudge, and things like that to us kiddos. I suspect it’s because she wanted the adults to have the really good stuff (just kidding…sort of ).

One of the things she made every year was candied pecans, which I turned my nose up at because they weren’t as exciting to me as cookies decorated with icing and sprinkles. However, the first time I popped one absent-mindedly into my mouth and felt that sugar and cinnamon hit my tongue, it’s like a rainbow exploded in my mouth. Then I crunched down on the pecan and literally gasped with delight. Mom had been holding out on us all those years! There’s nothing quite like candied pecans, and the aroma swirling in the air when they’re cooking is heavenly, too, and it smells like Christmas anytime I smell them.

Here’s the deal: they’re shockingly easy to make, which I suspect is why my mom made them. She wasn’t the kind of cook who got very involved with in-depth recipes. Quick and easy was the way to go, and I don’t disagree with that at all. If you’re getting back into baking and cooking this year, candied pecans are a great thing to try because they’re so easy. We found a great recipe for Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Pecans on JoyFoodSunshine, a blog that’s run by a woman who calls herself a “delicious food enthusiast.” She sounds like my soul sister!

To make her Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Pecans, she used pecans that she’s bought and frozen. If you buy your nuts “in season,” you can usually get them for much cheaper. These delicious little bites of heaven are wonderful to give as gifts in a pretty jar or little treat bags. To use them, you can just eat them straight out of the jar or even toss them in a salad. They’re also delicious crushed and stirred into ice cream, and one commenter on the website said that she used them as a cake topper. Check out this cupcake that’s garnished with candied pecans. Oh. My. Goodness.


The recipe’s creator drizzles the pecans with a syrup that calls for sea salt, sugar, and cinnamon. It’s a six-ingredient recipe that bakes on a pan for an hour in the oven. It just doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Image: Video screengrab from JoyFoodSunshine