Want to learn how to make perfect candied nuts? These tricks and tips will get them clear, glossy and crunchy. These really are the best candied nuts out there!
Tried & True Candied Nuts
Today I’m sharing a recipe requested by a reader just like you! They asked me to come up with a candied nut recipe that was crunchy and clear, not cloudy and clumpy.
I have to admit, it took me several tries to get this recipe right. The first few batches came out either too gooey, raw, or cloudy. We of course gobbled up the rejects, but I was determined to make something work. Surely it was possible to make shiny, glossy candied nuts without using egg whites.
These candied nuts pictured above that it was possible!
Best Nuts for Candied Nuts?
What kind of nuts can you use for candied nuts? Here are our favorites…
Just make sure that they are RAW, UNSALTED, and WHOLE.
We decided to make candied pecans this time, but I think we’ll try almonds next, or even a combination of different types of nuts!
How to Make Candied Nuts
COATING. To start, you’ll want to mix together the coating. It consists of butter, sugar, corn syrup, salt, spices, and vanilla. Pretty simple.
NUTS. Add nuts (all of the same kind or a variety) and toss to coat.
BAKE. Pour onto a lined rimmed baking sheet and bake at 325°F for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
COOL. Transfer to a piece of parchment or wax paper, separate, and let cool.
What if my coating is still soft/sticky after baking? If you take your nuts out of the oven and the coating is still soft/sticky, pop the tray back in the oven until the nuts are more “crispy”.
On the Stovetop
Instead of baking it and letting the nuts get crispy, you can turn them in a pan on the stove until the nuts reach that same crispy level. Then let the nuts sit on a piece of parchment paper to finish hardening up.
This is what it looks like if you use maple syrup instead of corn syrup. You can tell it’s a little more cloudy instead of glossy, but they still taste great!
Spice: You can use whatever you like. I prefer using cinnamon, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice. You make your own spice mix using your favorite spices (I’ve tried a cinnamon cayenne version and it was so good)!
Syrup: Corn syrup is essential to this recipe. I tried swapping it out for maple syrup and it wasn’t quite the same (see picture above). However, if you’re really trying to stick with more natural ingredients, it is doable (but not as pretty).
Nuts: I like a thinner coating, so I add an extra ¼ cup of nuts than what the recipe calls for.
Storing Candied Nuts
Let the candied nuts cool for at least 20 minutes or until completely cool. You don’t want to package warm nuts or the moisture will cause condensation which will soften the candy coating.
STORE the nuts in an airtight container or ziploc bag for up to 2 weeks.
Can you freeze them? After letting the nuts cool completely you can place them in an airtight bag and store in the freezer for 2 months. Let them thaw and come to room temperature before trying to eat it, or else you might break a tooth!
How to use candied nuts:
- Ice cream sundaes
- On top of cakes
- On cheeseboards
- As gifts during the holidays
These candied nuts are so easy to make, they’re bound to become a staple!
LOOKING FOR MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES USING PECANS? TRY THESE:
- Cranberry Apple Pecan Kale Salad
- Maple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
- Foolproof Cinnamon Raisin Pecan Bread
- Browned Butter Pecan Chippers
- Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad
Candied Nuts Recipe
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup*
- 1/2-3/4 tsp cinnamon - apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cup raw whole pecans - walnuts, cashews, almonds, or a mix
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a standard size baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a medium microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt butter. Add the sugar, corn syrup, spice, salt, and vanilla. Whisk together until smooth. Add the nuts and toss to coat.
- Pour nuts onto prepared baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a large piece of parchment or wax paper. Use a spoon or small tongs to separate the nuts to prevent clusters from forming. Let dry for 20 minutes or until completely hardened. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.