Sweet and flavored with cinnamon and sugar, these candied pecans & pretzel bites are an addicting snack that’s perfect for a crowd or snack attack!
What does fall mean to you? To me, it’s all about hoodie weather, Pittsburgh hockey, comfort foods and these Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans & Pretzel Bites! I was first introduced to candied nuts back when we had our pizzeria. Around the holidays, while my family was busy making the pizzas, I was busy making all of the custom cookie orders for our customers.
Often when I would deliver these items, our amazing customers would give us gifts back. It was during one of those trips that I received this bag of candied nuts (or as we called it in the shop – Crack!). I was blown away by how amazing it was. I immediately called her and asked what it was. She then gave me her recipe. I think for years after that I made it for the family and our friends as gifts.
How to make Candied Pecans and Pretzels
I’ve taken that original recipe given to me and revised it several times. Hers had a whole egg, maple syrup, walnuts, nutmeg and a bunch of other ingredients. Plus hers was made in a skillet. It was good but was a lot of steps. I was able to reduce mine to just a few ingredients and also bake it. I find baking it helped control the sugar caramelization and how crunchy the nuts and pretzels got.
Oh yeah.. pretzels. Yes, I LOVE the addition of pretzels to this dish. Could you omit, absolutely but why would you? What I found that works best are the Snyders of Hanovers Sourdough Nibblers. You don’t want to use the mini pretzels as they will burn before the pecans are done.
To make this recipe; it’s pretty simple:
- Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. If you don’t, it will stick. You can also use a baking mat as long as it covers the bottom of the pan
- Next, beat together the egg white with the water. The egg white only will help crisp up the pecans and pretzels. Also mix together the sugars and cinnamon. If you wanted, you could totally use pumpkin spice here in place of the cinnamon for a more fall-like recipe! Want it vegan/egg free? See the notes in the recipe!
- Place the pecans and pretzels in a large bowl. Add in the egg mixture and stir to coat everything. Next, add in the spice mixture, stir and pour onto the prepared pan.
- Bake, stir, bake some more and let cool completely before storing.
Candied Pecans & Pretzels Mix-ins and IMPORTANT tip!
So let’s be honest, you’re only limited to your imagination as to what you can/cannot add in. Obviously plain is perfect but you know me, I love to go all-out when I bag these up as gifts. Often I’ll give each person 3-4 bags of this. One bag is traditional, another has chocolate candies (M&Ms) and dark chocolate chips, one has dried cranberries and golden raisins, and the last has Spanish red skinned peanuts and bit of toffee chips.
Important tip: When you go to package you absolutely MUST wait until it’s completely cooled. If not, the pecans and pretzels will get soggy and almost steam in the container. So most definitely let them rest on the pan until completely cooled!
How to store candied pecans and pretzels
So the first time I made these while dating Mr. Fantabulous, I came out to the kitchen to bag them up and well…. he ate the entire tray. Like he ate the WHOLE TRAY! LOL fortunately these are so easy to make that I was able to whip up another batch for him to take home.
Once cooled, just store in an air tight container. They’ll last about 3-4 days but let’s be honest, if they last the night consider yourself lucky! LOL
If you wanted to bag these up for holiday gifts you can put these in cellophane bags. I personally love these for passing out or having as party favors!
Other types of Candied Nuts
So what if you do not like pecans, could you use other types of nuts? Sure! I’ve made this with macadamia nuts, walnuts, whole almonds and even plain peanuts. But if I’m being completely honest, the pecans are my favorite.
How to use Candied Nuts?
Other than stuffing them into your mouth as fast as you can, try them on a charcuterie board with triple cream cheeses, add on top of a spinach and chicken salad, rough chop and add to cookie dough, top ice cream with it, add to pancakes, use on oatmeal or….
Well let me hear from you, what would one of your favorite ways to use thees other than eating as-is?
- 2 cups raw pecan halves
- 1 1/2 cups pretzel nuggets
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 XL egg white plus 1 Tbl water *see note to make them vegan
- Preheat oven to 300F. Line a large rimmed baking pan with parchment.
- In a small bowl mix together the 2 sugars and cinnamon; set aside.
- Beat the egg white and water together until frothy. To a large bowl add the pretzels and pecans along with the egg mixture. Stir to coat evenly. Add in the sugar mixture and stir to coat.
- Pour the mixture out onto the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway, until the sugars have caramelized and started to brown.
- Remove the pan from the oven, cool on the pan for 10 minutes and using a heat-safe spatula gently sir/help break up any clusters. Allow to cool completely on the pan (~an hour) before storing in an airtight container.
To make vegan use 3 Tbl Aquafaba in place of the egg mixture.