Naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, these candied nuts not only satisfy many holiday dessert cravings – they also make great gifts!
This recipe couldn’t be easier and works with both walnuts and pecans. I start buying the large Kirkland brand bags of walnuts and pecans from Costco in October, and keep making multiple batches through Christmas. Many of my friends to whom I’ve given the recipe report that they make them every year, too.
I started making these flavored with cinnamon, but have also tried using pumpkin pie spice which works equally well. The taste is similar, with a mild (not obnoxious) pumpkin spice flavor. Pumpkin spice pecans satisfy my cravings for both pecan pie and pumpkin pie, with a lot less time in the kitchen.
People who are gluten-free and/or dairy-free really appreciate it when I bring these to holiday events, but the folks without dietary issues love them just as much. More than one person has described them as “addictive.” Packaged in a holiday tin, they make an excellent small gift.
Recipe: Candied nuts
- 1 lb (16 oz) walnut or pecan halves
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
(I use McCormick pure vanilla extract, which is gluten-free)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (OR 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice)
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray foil with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, stir together sugar, salt and cinnamon (or pumpkin spice seasoning); set aside.
- In large bowl, whisk egg white and vanilla until frothy.
- Add nuts to large bowl and toss until evenly coated.
- Add sugar and seasonings to large bowl and toss until evenly coated.
- Spread nuts evenly on cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour at 250, turning once after 30 minutes.
- Cool and store in an air-tight container.
If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!