Candied Bourbon Pecans are salty, sweet, and just a little bit spicy. The taste of bourbon is very subtle, but it gives these pecans the perfect amount of something extra to make them so delicious and addicting.
I wish I could say something about this candied pecans recipe that didn’t sound cheesy, but they are seriously so delicious. They are easily one of the yummiest snacks that I have made in a long time! We love to serve them as a snack or appetizer around Christmas time or Thanksgiving with deviled eggs, bacon jam, and pimento cheese, but they are honestly the perfect snack for any time of the year.
These slightly spicy pecans have a sweet coating of sugar on the outside that give them a little crunch – and they have just a little bit of heat with a soft, tender inside. Even if you are not a pecan lover, you just have to try them!
When I took them out of the oven, I tried one, then I ran outside and fed some to my husband, and he said, “Oh… those are tasty. Like really, really tasty.”
Table of Contents
🥘 Ingredients in Candied Pecans
- Bourbon – I like to use Bulleit Bourbon or Woodford Reserve
- Vanilla Extract
- Egg White
- Pecan Halves
- Brown Sugar
- Kosher Salt
- Cayenne Pepper
🍽 Equipment Needed
- Measuring Cups/Measuring Spoons
- Two Mixing Bowls
- A Baking Sheet with a Non-Stick Baking Mat (or Parchment Paper)
- A Rubber Spatula and a Whisk
🥣 How to Make Bourbon Candied Pecans
It could not be easier to make candied pecans – and these are sweet, spicy, and so flavorful.
Preheat your oven to 350°F (and take out anything that you store in it – mine houses our cast-iron pans.)
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together bourbon, vanilla extract, and the egg white until the egg white is a little bit frothy. (Picture 1)
Stir in pecans and make sure they are fully coated in the egg/bourbon mixture. The more egg white mixture on the pecans, the more the sugar will be able to stick to them. (2)
In a separate small bowl, combine sugar, cayenne, and salt. (Picture 3)
Combine the sugar mixture with the egg/bourbon-coated pecans, then toss the pecans and make sure that the pecans are fully coated with the sugar mixture. (Picture 4)
Spread the pecans out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a non-stick mat – these pecans are STICKY. (Picture 5)
IMPORTANT: Drop the temperature of the oven to 250°F and bake the pecans for 10 minutes. The bourbon mixture can burn if cooked at too high of a temperature, so slow and low is best!
After 10 minutes, stir the pecans, then set them back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
Do this one more time for a total of 30 minutes. You will notice the pecans will start off wet and sticky and will gradually dry out a little, and the sugar will crystallize.
After the 30 minutes is up, the pecans should be mostly crystallized-looking (see photos for a better idea of what this means.)
Let the pecans cool for 10-15 minutes, then either serve them immediately or move them to an air-tight container for storage.
🙋♀️ Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! You can use any kind of nuts that you want, but try to use ones that are intended for baking or are still in their “raw” state – do not use a container of almonds that are already roasted and salted, as they will get double cooked and double salted. I would also recommend using whole nuts, as slivered almonds, cashew pieces, etc. will be really small and likely to burn quickly. Macadamia nuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, and peanuts are really good options!
Absolutely – you can use water or fruit juice, like apple cider or apple juice. (If you use apple cider, you can add a tiny pinch of apple pie spice to get some really great fall flavors!) I saw a recipe using orange juice, but I will leave that one up to you guys to experiment with – that sounds like an adventure 😉 You can also try a little maple syrup to make maple bourbon pecans.
Yes! Just substitute the sugar for your favorite sweetener and replace the bourbon with water or sugar-free juice! (Watch more closely, though, as erythritol burns faster than brown sugar!)
🍳 How to Serve Bourbon Candied Pecans
- With Sweet Vanilla Ice Cream – Praline Pecans are one of my favorite things!
- On a Charcuterie Board.
- As a Christmas or Thanksgiving Appetizer – they are even a great Super Bowl Party treat.
- Tossed into or on top of salads to add some sweetness and crunch.
- And these pecans make great gifts. Candied pecans make a great hostess gift, especially over the holiday. Store them in a cute jar with a festive ribbon and deliver them over the holidays!
🥫How to Store Candied Pecans
Store your pecans in a jar or airtight container for up to two weeks – we finish them much faster than that – but they will, of course, be best within the first few days.
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✏️ Helpful Tips
- Be sure to follow the oven instructions carefully – if your oven is too hot, the pecans can burn easily.
- This recipe is also really good with other kinds of nuts, just make sure that they are mixed RAW nuts – any assortment – just make sure they aren’t pre-roasted or salted.
- If you like spicy food, go all-in with 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. It has a little heat that lingers for a second after you finish chewing, then you are left with a sweet flavor. It might be too much for children or people who are really sensitive to spice, but we loved the heat level.
Looking for More Fall Recipes?
- Bourbon Spiced Pumpkin Butter
- Pupkin Spice Pumpkin Dog Treats
- Apple Pie Spice
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Maple Bourbon Apple Butter
- Apple Butter Snickerdoodles
Have You Tried This Recipe?
Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!
Sweet and Spicy Bourbon Candied Pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°F (and take out anything that you store in it.)
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together bourbon, vanilla extract, and the egg white until the egg white is a little bit frothy.1 tablespoon Bourbon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 egg white
- Mix in pecans and be sure they are fully coated in the egg/bourbon mixture.3 cups pecan halves
- In a separate bowl, combine sugar, cayenne, and salt.½ cup brown sugar, ⅛ – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine the sugar mixture with the pecan/egg/bourbon mixture and make sure that the pecans are fully coated with sugar.
- Spread the pecans out onto a lined baking sheet.
- Now, this is important – drop the temperature of the oven to 250°F – then bake the pecans for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, stir the pecans, then set them back in the oven for 10 more minutes.
- Stir the pecans one more time and cook for 10 more minutes (for a total of 30 minutes.) You will notice the pecans will start off wet and sticky and will gradually dry out a little and the sugar will crystallize.
- After the 30 minutes is up, the pecans should be almost all crystallized-looking (see photos for a better idea of what this means.) Basically, the sugar will lighten up and get nice and crunchy.
- Let the pecans cool, then either serve them immediately or move them to an air-tight container for storage.
Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.