Mimi’s Cozy Cinnamon Spiced Candied Pecans

Cinnamon spiced candied pecans

Cold weather calls for some sweet, winter inspiration. That’s why I’m bringing you Mimi’s Cozy Cinnamon Spiced Candied Pecans. They totally fit the winter inspiration bill. They’re coated in creamy, crackly, cinnamon sugar goodness mixed in with lovely vanilla overtones. Who doesn’t love that?!?!?! Plus, this recipe is very near and dear to my heart as it came from my Mimi and Grandy, and tradition has dictated that my dad whips up a batch or two of these every year. Luckily for me and for you, my dad passed on the pecan knowledge, and has also given me approval to pass it on to you all. So let’s all happily make these candied pecans together! They’ll certainly help you make it through the winter.

Pecans on a pewter tray.

Did I also mention that these candied pecans are incredibly easy to whip up? The only tools you’ll need are six simple ingredients, a candy or instant read thermometer, and a decent amount of arm strength. I’ll explain later.

Ingredients for the cinnamon spiced candied nuts laid out on a countertop

Why these spiced candied pecans work:

Sugar is such a cool medium to work with. If you’ve ever played around with making candy, you know that as sugar heats up, it goes through various stages of firmness and caramelization, which yield not only different textures but also different flavors to your candy. For this recipe, we create a mixture of sugar, milk, salt, and cinnamon, and bring that to a boil. The sugar melts and then slowly begins to caramelize (yay, flavor!). We bring the sugar up to a temperature candy makers called the “soft ball” (a.k.a 234ºF – 240ºF). It’s called the soft ball because it’s the stage in which the sugar syrup will form a soft ball when dropped into cold water. Getting it to this point will make the sugar syrup creamy instead of grainy or hard. Creaminess is obviously vastly preferable.

Stirring pecans.

Once it gets there, we remove it quickly from the heat, add the vanilla and the pecans, and get to stirring. Here’s where that arm strength comes in. You’ll want to work really quickly while stirring because the sugar mixture begins to thicken and harden extremely quickly. As you stir to ensure that all the pecans are coated, it gets, well, kind of tiring! But you’ll get there, and this is the only hard part about making these spiced nuts!

Trust me, that arm workout will give you a candy coating that will quite literally melt in your mouth.

Cinnamon spiced candied pecans

At the end, you’ll have little nuggets of nutty, sugary goodness. Oh, and do me a favor. Sneak a few of these cinnamon spiced candied pecans while they’re still warm. Oh, yeah.

So on this Saturday night, I’m going to grab a handful of these spiced pecans, and raise a toast to my dad, Mimi, and Grandy because these candied pecans might be my favorite snack on a chilly winter’s night.

While you’re at it, check out our other desserts here! And be sure to subscribe to Savor + Harvest so that you never miss a post!

Mimi’s Cozy Cinnamon Spiced Candied Nuts

Crunchy, crackly cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla coating surrounds delicious pecans. These are the perfect cozy snack for a cold winter's night.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: quick recipes, easy recipes, cinnamon, easy gluten free recipes, spiced nuts, candied nuts, spiced pecans, candied pecans, winter snacks, winter desserts, candy, pecans
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 406kcal
Author: LM

Equipment

  • Candy thermometer

Ingredients

  • 3.5 cups pecan halves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon *you can add more cinnamon if you like your pecans heavily spiced.
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, and milk in a deep, heavy sauce pan. Keep in mind you will add the nuts to this pan so it needs to be big enough for you to stir freely.
  • Place pan over medium heat, insert a candy thermometer into the sugar mixture, and stir continuously until all the sugar is dissolved.
  • Continue stirring and heating slowly until mixture reaches the soft ball temperature on the candy thermometer (238ºF).
  • Working very quickly, remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Add pecans to the sugar mixture and stir until creamy and fully coated.
  • Turn out the pecans onto parchment paper and separate any clumps that might have formed. Let them cool completely before storing them.

Notes

Note: if you do not have a candy thermometer, you can use a quick-read digital thermometer, BUT be sure to test the temperature very frequently to ensure the readings are accurate. It is VERY IMPORTANT to get the temperature accurate for this recipe to work properly.

Nutrition

Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 191mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 41IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg
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