Sweet and Spicy Candied Bourbon Pecans
Sugar. Bourbon. Pecans. These bourbon pecans are dangerously good. Picture them sprinkled on top of ice cream, cheesecake, or a salad.
Why you’ll love it: These are easy to make and everyone LOVES them.
How long it takes: 35 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: mixing bowl, whisk, shallow baking pan
Sugar. Bourbon. Pecans. These suckers are dangerous.
I’m picturing them sprinkled on top of vanilla bean ice cream, especially with a drizzle of bourbon caramel sauce. They’re so good topping this baked Brie with cranberries appetizer. Or arranged on top of a pumpkin cheesecake or banana cake with cream cheese frosting. Or heck, throw them on a salad, like this shaved Brussels sprouts salad! The possibilities are endless.
Bourbon pecans are a welcome addition to any charcuterie board. They go great with cheese, fruits, meats, and pretty much anything.
Let’s not overlook the fact that they are really good on their own, too. Or as a simple snack with a vanilla bourbon fizz or a maple old fashioned. Or as my husband said, “I wish I had a beer to go with these!”
These are SO good. Perfect for gifting, perfect for holiday parties, perfect for anything.
About This Recipe
Bourbon pecans have a lot of nuanced flavor. The candied nuts are nice and sweet, with the toasted flavor of the pecans really shining through. Then you experience just a touch of spicy and salty. And then the best part: the bourbon! It’s a subtle flavor but it’s noticeable and really sets these apart from standard candied nuts.
These candied pecans have just a touch of cayenne so you aren’t overwhelmed by the sweetness of the sugar and bourbon. You wouldn’t call them spicy hot by any means but they do have a teeny tiny after-burn.
What you’ll need: pecan halves, an egg white, a splash of bourbon, sugar, salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Look for the printable recipe card near the end of the post for specific measurements, instructions, and nutrition information.
Make It Your Own
- Instead of pecans, substitute walnuts or another nut of your choice.
- Omit the cayenne pepper, if you don’t want the “spicy” aspect. You can replace it with a hint of cinnamon instead.
- Rather skip the bourbon? Substitute a tablespoon of water.
Although both glazed and candied pecans are sweet and great for snacking, they are made differently. Glazed pecans may include corn syrup as one of the ingredients, often aren’t baked, and they have a shinier appearance. Candied pecans are made with egg whites, they are baked, and have a sugary coating.
You may notice that the two terms are used somewhat interchangeably.
Underbaking the pecans can cause them to be soft. Bake them until they are dry to the touch, not sticky (watch them closely so they don’t burn).
Be sure to cool the baked pecans completely before storing them in an airtight container or condensation may form on the inside of the container, making the pecans soft.
In moderation, candied nuts are pretty healthy. Since all types of nuts are nutritious with many health benefits, they can be part of a healthy diet. Watch your serving size; one serving of pecans is one ounce, which is just under a quarter cup. Because candied nuts also have quite a bit of sugar, they should be considered a treat to be eaten once in awhile.
Once the pecans have completely cooled, store them in an airtight container. They’ll keep for at least a week at room temperature and even longer if it’s cool. For longer storage, up to a month, refrigerate them. Bourbon pecans can be frozen for up to two months.
More Nuts & Seeds
- Olive Oil Roasted Almonds
- Sugar Free Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
- Olive Oil and Rosemary Roasted Almonds
- Vanilla Bean Candied Walnuts
- Smoky Roasted Almonds
- Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas) Eight Ways
- How to Toast Pine Nuts – 3 easy methods!
- Savory Granola (nut-free recipe)
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @rachelcooksblog on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 3 cups pecan halves (12 oz. package)
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil, parchment paper, or Silpat.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk egg white with bourbon until frothy. Stir in pecans, mixing until moistened.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and cayenne until combined. Sprinkle over moistened nuts, gently stir to combine and spread onto prepared pan evenly in one layer.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes. They burn quickly so keep an eye on them! I stir them after 10 minutes, then 10 minutes again, then 5 minutes, and after another 5 minutes, they are typically perfectly browned. The pecans should look dry, not sticky.
- Cool completely. They will crisp more as they cool. Store in an airtight container.
- Serving size: approximately ¼ cup.
- If you prefer, skip the bourbon and substitute a tablespoon of water.
- Instead of cayenne, add a ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon.
- To prolong shelf-life, store nuts in the refrigerator or freezer.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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