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World 's Best Candied Pecans Walnuts or Almonds

Updated on October 21, 2016
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Buster began cooking as a wee pup by watching his mother fix the kibble. He was hooked. He loves preparing—and writing about—food.

Homemade Candied (and spicy!) Pecans

The Ecstasy of Easy

When I'm planning to have people over for dinner, I like to serve some elaborate dishes... but also some that taste "elaborate" but are in fact incredibly easy.

These sweet and spicy nuts fit the bill.

I've seen many recipes in books and online (and tried many of them) that have multiple steps, and sometimes require frying them. Geez.

No thanks.

What could be better than an easy snack that looks (and tastes) like you spent hours making them?

Welcome to Sweet and Spicy Nuts.

Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans... or Walnuts... or Almonds

They're perfect for cocktail nibbles or to serve with cheese before a dinner party. Looking for candied nuts? Sugared nuts? Spicy nuts?

You've found 'em.

But be careful -- they're addictive. I've eaten a whole batch in an afternoon.


The Ingredients

2 cups of fresh nuts -- pecan halves or walnuts or almonds... or a combination

2 1/2 tbsp. butter, melted

1 1/2 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne

1/4 tsp. smoked paprika (optional)

1/4 tsp. salt (use sea salt if you have it)

How To Prepare Sweet And Spicy Nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Into a large bowl, pour the two cups of pecans, walnuts or almonds. Melt the butter and pour over the nuts, a little at a time, until they're fully coated.

Into a small bowl, mix the sugar, salt and spices.

Sprinkle onto the buttery nuts -- a little at a time -- then toss. Continue adding the spices, and tossing, until you've used all of the spices.

How to Bake the Nuts

Spread the nuts on a foil-covered baking sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Stir them occasionally. I set my timer for 12 minutes, then begin checking the nuts. Yours may be ready a little sooner than 15 minutes, or they may take a little while longer. You'll know they're done when they've turned a dark golden color.

NOTE: Let them come to room temperature before eating. They're soft when they're warm, and they taste best later -- they will become crisp as they cool.

They're mouthwateringly good

How To Serve These Sweet Spicy Nuts

Put them in bowls near the cheeses for a special nibble during cocktail hour.

Bring them to your job and offer them to co-workers during their coffee breaks. They taste incredible with hot tea, too.

Wrap about 3/4 cup in clear cellophane and tie with a festive ribbon. Packets of spiced pecans are wonder host/hostess gifts, or to give someone as a token of your appreciation.

i like to scatter them on salads for dinner parties, or have them in pretty bowls on the dessert table for a potluck or casual group dinner. Watch the bowl! It will be emptied in minutes.

Enjoy these delectable treats.

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