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make-ahead gifts: brûléed pecans

  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 3 cups
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


An easy recipe for candied pecans with sugar and cinnamon. The crust is so crispy and delicious, you might just eat them all!


3 cups pecan halves

1 large egg white

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

pinch of coarse salt, plus more to taste

1/2 cup white sugar (I use Florida Crystals)

1 tsp cinnamon*


This recipe yields about 3 cups of pecans. To package in treat bags, use 1 heaped cup/bag = 3 gifts.

To double this recipe, prepare each batch of nuts separately (not in 1 giant bowl) and use 2 rimmed cookie sheets for baking.

*For extra cinnamon flavor, add up to an additional 1/2 teaspoon. The pecans as is are cinnamon ‘kissed.’


Preheat your oven to 325 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicon mat. *See note below.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg white, vanilla, and salt until bubbly and frothy, about 20-25 seconds. Quick tip- aerating the egg whites will help to achieve a puffed sugar crust around the nuts.

Add the pecans to the egg white mixture. Toss well to coat.

In a separate small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the wet pecans. Toss 2-3 times to coat.

Using a slotted spoon, spread the nuts evenly onto your baking sheet. Make sure the nuts are not piled on top of each other.

Bake for about 15- 20 minutes. You’ll know the pecans are ready when the crust is dry, puffed and light golden in color. The nuts will continue to harden once removed from the oven. Do not be tempted to over bake- they will become too dark.

Remove the baking tray from the oven and cool for about 10-15 minutes.

Once completely cool, transfer to an airtight container or package in treat bags.


*To prevent sticking, it’s best to use a silicon mat instead of parchment paper to line your baking sheets. If this is not an option, generously coat the parchment paper with butter for easy removal. Otherwise, be prepared to pry the nuts from the pan…

Keywords: candied pecans, edible gifts, pecans