Sweet and spicy pecans with maple syrup are perfectly balanced with salty-sweet flavors and a little heat on the end. They’re a holiday favorite!
Happy hump day!
I'm sorta just hobbling through the week this week...
The past two weeks were short ones for me, work-wise, as I traveled to Nashville with some girl friends for a long weekend (including my birthday) and last weekend when I was up on Lake Michigan for a blogger retreat.
Both were seriously fabulous trips with some seriously amazing women. I am blessed to have them all in my life to share fun, food, laughs and inspiration!
But this week is all reality. Including both kids being out of school and home with me while I work on Friday. Send bourbon. 😂
But now, on to today's recipe...
My mom’s been making sugared pecans at the holidays for years.
They are always part of our annual mom-daughter baking day, where we prep all the cookies and treats for the family together and just have fun in the kitchen.
But honestly, those pecans were always the thing I was least excited about.
I adore a salty-sweet snack, and our homemade chex mix is one of my very favorite holiday snacks, but sugared pecans just never did it for me for some reason.
And then last year, my mom added some cayenne.
And I fell in love! ❤️
These sweet and spicy pecans with maple syrup are just so much more balanced, I think.
They’re not super spicy but they do have a little heat that kicks in at the end. I love that!
I’ve adjusted my mom’s recipe because I wanted to use maple syrup instead of brown sugar so they'd be naturally sweetened.
I also use butter in mine, which I think helps bring out the richness of the nuts.
And shhh, I think my tweaks make these sweet and spicy pecans even better!
They are so easy and so addictive and just perfect for setting out at the holidays for people to snack on.
Notes on these sweet and spicy pecans with maple syrup:
- I use butter but you can sub extra-virgin olive oil if you prefer (or if you want them to be vegan).
- I like using all maple syrup but I've seen some recipes that use part maple syrup and part brown sugar. Do what suites you!
- I think these have the perfect amount of cayenne to get just a background hint of spicy, but feel free to adjust the amount to suit your tastes.
- These pecans will keep for at least 2-3 weeks, stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.
Even if you’re like me and haven’t been a huge fan of sugared pecans in the past, I hope you’ll give this sweet and spicy version a try!
(And they would also make a fabulous hostess gift or holiday gift for neighbors, friends and teachers!)
P.S. If you love pecans, check out my bourbon sweet potato casserole with buttery pecans, curried wild rice salad with raisins and pecans, and my kale apple salad with cheddar and pecans.
Sweet and spicy pecans with maple syrup
Sweet and spicy pecans with maple syrup are a salty-sweet holiday favorite!
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter (or sub olive oil)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- Preheat oven to 300. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine maple syrup, butter and seasonings through allspice. Add pecans and stir until they are well coated.
- Spread pecans in an even layer on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake at 300 for 20-25 minutes, stirring once, until well browned. Be careful they don’t burn.
- Let cool on baking sheet and enjoy!
I use butter but you can sub olive oil if you prefer (or if you want them to be vegan).
I think these have the perfect amount of cayenne to get just a background hint of spicy, but feel free to adjust the amount to suit your tastes.
These pecans will keep for at least 2-3 weeks, stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.
Serving Size:¼ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 199mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
Lake Michigan, huh? My husband is from around there! I hope you had loads of fun at the retreat (although I'm fairly certain you did!) I am a HUUUUUGE fan of nuts, especially during the holidays, because they make the best (and easiest) appetizer! These look fabulous! I love the sweet and spicy combo! SO YUM! Cheers!
So I went to school in Chicago but this was just a totally different experience and I so loved the calm, quiet, gorgeous lake! Even when it was dreary and raining, it just looked so beautiful! And a big YES to ALL the nuts at the holidays! (Did that sound weird?! 😂) XO
Sweet and spicy pecans are some of my favorite holiday foods to snack on! Love this perfect alternative to a traditional candied nut, so tasty!
Thanks Luci! The spicy part really makes these special!
Lauren Grant | Zestful Kitchen
I love making nuts like this during the holidays! I can't wait to try these!
They're so great for setting out around the holidays, aren't they?! I hope you try them!
I think these are even better when increasing the maple syrup to 5 tablespoons and eliminating the butter. You have to remove them from the oven every 5 minutes to stir them. That way they have a longer shelf life than just 2 to 3 weeks. Also, I have tried 325 degrees for a little crispier texture. Either way, they are excellent as maple-pecan is a great combination!
I love that combination too! And love your substitutions - will have to try them that way next time. Thanks for sharing! 😊
I make these often for social gatherings any time of year and people love them. I often use half butter (salted) / half oil (any variety on hand). People always ask for the recipe and I send them here! Just delicious!
I'm so happy to hear that! They are so good for sharing with a group! 😊