Candied pecans are remarkably simple to make. You will need 3 ingredients and water-that is it! A few minutes on the stove top and you have a fresh batch of versatile, homemade candied pecans. Candied pecans beautifully fill a candy dish for visitors or can be used to top your favourite cookies, cakes or ice cream. Candied pecans also make a wonderful topping for salads.
If you have never made any type of candy it will require some attention the first time to ensure your sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature. I have outlined how to ensure your sugar mixture reaches the correct stage even if you do not use a candy thermometer. I have also provided a video which illustrates this simple process. Candied pecans are very simple and easy to make.
- 2 1/4 cups dark brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound shelled pecan halves
In a large saucepan combine water and brown sugar.
Over medium high heat bring the sugar mixture to a boil. Cover the pan and reduce to low heat.
Cook 2-3 minutes on low heat (covered).
Uncover and raise the mixture again to a boil while stirring. Boil until the sugar reaches the hard crack stage (310 F on a candy thermometer).
Once the hard crack stage is reached remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla followed by the pecans.
Continue stirring until the mixture sugars. This should take 1-2 minutes.
Turn sugared pecans onto greased foil or cookie sheet and allow to cool.
Once cool store in an airtight container.
Hard Crack Stage
The hard crack stage is reached between 300 F and 310 F and is the highest temperature called for in candy recipes. At this temperature range the sugar concentration reaches 99%.
It is not necessary to use a candy thermometer. You will notice a thickening of the syrup as it reaches the hard crack stage. Once this thickening occurs you can test the syrup using a bowl of ice cold water.
Drop a tiny amount of the syrup into cold water and it will form hard threads which will crack when bent.
Sugar at the Hard Crack Stage
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