Glazed nuts, candied almonds, cinnamon-sugar pecans, whatever you call them, here are two fool-proof ways to make the best snack for the holidays, or any time of year. The first recipe is for large batch candied nuts, cooked in the slow-cooker and great for a party snack or to give as gifts.
Making a large batch of candied pecans in the slow-cooker has been a Christmas tradition for us, and by tripling the recipe I make enough to give as gifts. These actually make great, "oh shoot, I need to give them a gift" gifts.
The quick recipe at the bottom is created on the stove-top and better suited for small batch candied nuts, wonderful in salads or this Thanksgiving-themed popcorn.
Slow-Cooker Candied Pecans
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
2 eggs, whites, and yolks separated
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 pounds whole raw nuts like almonds or pecans, unsalted
In a large bowl mix the sugars, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne.
In a small bowl, whisk egg whites with 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
Inside your slow cooker, toss the nuts with the frothy egg white mixture to coat.
Add the sugar mixture and stir to coat.
Turn the crockpot to low and cook for three hours, covered, stirring the nuts every 30 minutes. The nuts get harder and harder to mix as the time goes by. After 3 hours, gently sprinkle in 1/4 cup of water over the nuts, and stir, cover and cook for another hour. Stir every 30 minutes.
The final step is to pour the nuts out on cookie sheets, spread out in one layer, and let them cool. The water helps the cinnamon sugar mixture turn into crunchy goodness! Once cooled, store in an airtight container. I recommend placing the cinnamon-sugar nuts in mason jars and tying with a festive ribbon or pretty holiday tins.
These are good at room temp for 3 weeks if stored in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month or in the freezer for two months.
Quick Stove-top Candied Pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp water
1 cup pecan halves
In a medium skillet, combine sugar, cinnamon, salt and two tablespoons of water and bring to a low boil over medium heat for two minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling.
Add the nuts and cook for another 3 minutes, frequently stirring, until the liquid cooks down and glazes the pecans. Follow your nose to make sure they do not burn. They go from perfect to overdone in a flash.
Pour the mixture out onto parchment paper or a Silpat liner to cool, then break apart and enjoy.