Caramelized or candied nuts are a delicious sweet, a sugary snack that you cannot escape after eating one. Today I tell you how to make delicious candied pecans at home! Sweet and crunchy, be warned that they are highly addictive, and to make them you only need a frying pan.

How to make caramelized

To make the candied walnuts we will only need walnuts, sugar and essences to aromatize it.

They are often made without flavoring, with only sugar, but I suggest you apply mainly vanilla and cinnamon, it gives them a delicious aroma (it is common to use at least vanilla). Also keep in mind that we will use mainly brown sugar, rather than white, for the aroma it gives to the pecans (but you can use white sugar only for the syrup if you prefer its result).

How will we do it? With the sugar we will make a syrup to cover the walnuts, and it will be at the time of their cooling and crystallization that we will obtain some homemade caramelized caramels.

In the same way, you could make caramelized other nuts, such as hazelnuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds... The aromas that I propose to use in the recipe undoubtedly go especially well with all kinds of walnuts and almonds.

Difference Between California Walnuts and Pecans

Pecan nuts are becoming very fashionable. The truth is that they do taste different from the California walnuts that we have been using the most, and I highly encourage you to take them and use them if you have not done so yet.

You will appreciate pecan nuts for their flavor: they are less bitter than the others; and without a doubt you will distinguish them by their elongated and vertical shape. In texture you will also appreciate its virtues: its meat is buttery, oily and creamier.

For all these reasons, it is preferable to use pecan nuts to caramelize.


  • 280g pecan nuts
  • 80 ml of water
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 50 g white sugar (*see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon (2.1 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons (5.2g) cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.5g) nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon (0.5g) cayenne pepper (optional)

Preparation of candied walnuts

  1. First, roast the walnuts in the oven: arrange the pecans on a baking tray , spread over its surface, and bake them for about 10 to 15 minutes at 170ºC. From time to time, remove them with a spatula so that they are toasted evenly on all sides. When toast is appreciated, remove and reserve.
  2. Prepare the syrup: in an iron skillet over medium heat, add the water and add all the seasonings, that is, the sugars, the vanilla, the cinnamon, the nutmeg and the cayenne if you want to add it. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  3. Immediately add the walnuts and return to the heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to impregnate all the nuts with the syrup and help the sugar melt and crystallize (about 10 minutes). In a few minutes you will see how a whitish grit is created around it. Raise the heat and do not stop stirring, so that they crystallize but do not burn.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, and prepare a tray with parchment paper , to spread the candied walnuts on top (scatter them on the tray, separated from each other so they don't clump together) and let the walnuts cool).
  5. Once cold, you can serve them or keep them in an airtight jar .

Ideas to use and enjoy candied walnuts

  • You'll love eating the pralines as they are: enjoy them as a snack, they're full of energy!
  • Take them out at coffee time, after lunch, and it will be the final touch to the meeting (don't forget to say that you made them, it will be a sure thing to know how you made them).
  • They are ideal in green salads, together with cured cheeses, fresh cheese or fresh strawberries, they admit a wide variety of accompaniments.
  • Put them in a jar or in bags: it is a beautiful gift for parties, to have a detail with someone or when you have a visitor.
  • Do you make stuffed pasta at home? Those ravioli stuffed with pear, cheese and walnuts can be made with caramelized pecans, the sweet and salty contrast will be a sure hit.
  • In pastries! Apply these caramelized nuts (chopped or whole) to decorate and give the final touch to your biscuits. Also to crown cookies and muffins, and cakes of all kinds!


  • *The usual thing is to make a syrup only with white sugar. You can make the pralines with white sugar (replace the brown sugar with white, applying in this case 150 g of white sugar in total), but I think that the brown sugar cane aromas are delicious with the pecans.
  • Think about the flavors that you like: you can aromatize them only with vanilla extract, or apply ginger if that is what you like (along with a pinch of pepper it is the most special).
  • Walnuts, you can cut them in half if you prefer to make a smaller bite or have a variety of very large pecans.
  • Don't be scared by the pieces of caramel left over when cleaning the pan or mat! Remember that you will only have to leave it in water so that the sugar dissolves before applying sponge and soap.

I hope you have a lot of fun caramelizing nuts. Do not stop telling me what tricks or aromas you use to make them, it will be a great learning experience for everyone.

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