In the kitchen, my habits tend to gravitate towards the, “I’ve never tried that before, let’s make it!” end of the spectrum, instead of relying heavily on the same recipes again and again. These candied maple cinnamon pecans, though? Well they’ve been around a loong time, and I don’t see them leaving my recipe book anytime soon.
They’re sweet, salty, cinnamon-y and full of caramlized maple goodness. And on top of all that they’re gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. Hip hip hooray for healthy(ish) treats!!
It’s a little late for this idea, (but never too early to tuck this recipe in your back pocket for next year!) but these always make a welcome, home made holiday present, and would also make a wonderful host gift for a winter dinner party. Note to self – have more winter dinner parties!
I always really love this time of year, especially January, as it means a slowing down of social obligations, more calm, quality time with friends and family, and a moving inward to shape up those goals for the new year. And there’s not a much better accompaniment to that energy than cooking deliciously warm, simple meals, and inviting friends over to share them with, over a bottle of wine (or two.. ). It’s like the warm fuzzies from the holidays get carried into the new year on the backs of those cozy nights and conversations. Especially with the way 2016 ended, I think we call could use a little help from our friends.
But let’s get back to these tasty pecans 🙂
Pecans that you’ll probably be making and tucking into a jar, tying a bit of kitchen twine around the topping and tucking under your arm for your next dinner party.
(you can ignore the black pen mark on my hand.. lol, my classic pen testing spot!)
The recipe is really super simple, which is probably why it’s been in my rotation for so long. I’m not usually into fussy recipes, if I have to check ingredients, or how to do something even after the fifth time I’ve made it, then I’m sorry it’s probably not gonna last too long.
I first found this gem when I was interviewing for my last nanny job. They asked me to make a delicious healthy salad, and I found this awesome recipe for a kale salad with lots of root vegetables, apple slices, green onions, a lemony maple vinnaigrette and of course, these candied pecans.
I tried to find it on the web again to give proper credit where credit is due, but I couldn’t seem to locate it. So person out there, who created this candied pecan goodness – thank you! I owe you a lot. Because that salad totally got me the job, and every time I made it over the next 6 years, I was always asked to make an extra big batch of these pecans.
This recipe is going to be the first in a series of three for a very special, mouthwatering breakfast-ey treat, but I had to give each component their very own post because they’re so damn good on their own.
For something so fabulously delicious, the formula is pretty basic:
Pecans, maple syrup, avocado oil, cinnamon and sea salt are stirred together until they’re well mixed, and then spread in an even layer on a parchment lined (soo important! otherwise you’ll be scrubbing maple candy off your sheet for days) baking sheet, and popped in a fairly hot oven. After the first 5 minutes you give it a stir to coat, and then after that you’ll wanna stir every 2 minutes or so, to keep the maple goodness evenly distributed, and avoid burnt pecans.
Once the maple syrup mixture gets thick enough that it sticks to the nuts, and the bubble is very slow and viscus, then you’re have hit the *sweet* spot.
You’ll spread ’em out on the baking sheet to cool so you don’t end up with one giant clump of candied maple cinnamon pecans (not that it would be the worst thing in the world if that happened…)
and burn your tongue trying to eat them before they cool wait patiently for them to harden into the little nuggets of gold that they are!
did you make this recipe? I would love to know how it turned out for you! when you rate my recipes and leave feedback it helps me continue to improve. you can leave me a comment below, or snap a picture and post it to instagram with the tag @nyssaskitchen or hashtag #nyssaskitchen! xoPrint
Sweet, salty, and so addicting! These easy candied maple cinnamon pecans are made without dairy or refined sugar for a perfect paleo/vegan treat or a great topping to your favorite hearty salad!
- 3 cups whole raw pecans
- 1/3 cup real maple syrup
- 3 tbsp avocado oil (I have used olive oil instead, however bc of the high baking temp, I prefer to use an oil that won’t break down)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Mix all ingredients together and spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (it’s very important to line your baking sheet bc the maple syrup mixture will caramelize and you will have a hard time getting it off of your pan once it cools!).
- Bake in the oven for 6 minutes, take out, stir and return to the oven, stirring every 2 minutes or so, for about a total of 10-12 minutes, until bubbles slow dramatically and the maple syrup mixture is clinging to the pecans.
- Remove and set aside to cool, spreading pecans evenly and seperating as much as possible so they don’t harden in one large batch.