This month I was assigned the blog: Smells Like Brownies by Melissa. Melissa is a stay-at-home wife and mother of two, and her favorite thing to do is share delicious food with her family and friends.
Melissa's blog is only 4 years old, but she has an impressive catalog of recipes to choose from. I had a particularly busy week so I needed to find a simple and fast recipe to prepare for this month's reveal. The Black Bean Hummus sounded really good, so did the Salmon Mousse (definitely going to make that one), and if I had had time, the Maple Coconut Granola has my name written all over it, and I would have tried the Homemade Mozzarella, but in the end, time was a huge factor so I chose Candied Pecans which I plan to share with family during the upcoming holidays. These nuts are addictive - the only thing I'd do differently next time is make more!
Thanks Melissa - these candied pecans are the bomb!
Start by lightly toasting the pecans in the oven.
Make a sugar praline-like syrup syrup.
Add pure vanilla extract (only the best!).
Add the toasted pecans to the caramelized sugar syrup.
Toss well to coat.
Pour coated pecans onto a silicone lined sheet pan; spreading them out into a single layer.
Bake in oven, tossing every 10 minutes until the sugar crystallizes.
Totally addictive - sorry I didn't make a double batch!
makes 1 1/2 cups
- 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or a Silpat liner and preheat the oven to 250F (yes, 250F).
- Spread pecan halves on prepared sheet pan and toast in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- In a small saucepan (preferably nonstick, like this caramel pot) over medium-high heat, combine butter, sugar, water, salt, and cinnamon (use a silicone coated whisk if you have a hard time breaking up the clumps of cinnamon).
- As soon as the sugar is completely dissolved, stop stirring and insert a candy thermometer.
- Continue cooking, without stirring, until the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches 246F (soft ball stage).
- Remove sugar syrup from heat and stir in vanilla, followed by the toasted pecans; toss until pecans are completely coated.
- Pour coated pecans onto prepared sheet pan, spreading into a single layer.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
- To check if your candy thermometer is properly calibrated, use this online calculator to see what the boiling point of water is based on the elevation of your zip code (US residents). Simply plug in your zip code to get your elevation. Once you have your elevation, use the same calculator to see what temperature water will boil at that elevation. For example, according to my zip code, my elevation is about 900 feet above sea level. That means my thermometer should indicate 210F at the point water boils. If my candy thermometer indicates a difference, I would have to add or subtract that difference from my target temperature.