Old Bay Candied Pecans

3 cups
55 min

Today, we’re making Old Bay Candied Pecans!

If I’m ditching the humility for a second, I truly believe Old Bay cinnamon sugar is one of the most genius things to come out of my kitchen this past year. Though the Old Bay is VERY subtle, there’s something magical that happens when it mixes with that warm cinnamon and that sweet sugar. We’ve seen quite a few recipes here using this magical mix, and it’s making another appearance here today.

So, lets talk candied pecans for a second. I feel like there are two basic approaches to candied pecans: there’s the version that uses a liquified version of the sugary mix to create kind of a glazed effect on the pecans; or there’s the version that takes the sugar straight to the pecans to create this crunchy, super textural nut. This recipe’s approach is the latter.

For our sugar mix, we’re going to keep things really simple. We’re going to take some brown sugar, some white sugar, some ground cinnamon, and a little Old Bay seasoning. We’ll mix them together, and set it to the side while we prepare our pecans. Super duper simple.

For our pecans, we’re going to use raw pecan halves. Now if you’ve ever gone shopping for nuts, there are soooo many different options. There’s salted vs. unsalted. There’s roasted vs. raw. There’s chopped. There’s slivered. There’s whole. There’s halves. So, it is important to pay attention to what kind of nut you’re buying. So, make sure you get raw, unsalted pecan halves.

To help our sugary mix stick to the pecans, we’re going to whip up an egg white until it reaches soft peaks. It’s actually pretty incredible how much body whipping a little air into egg whites can create. It’s really fun to watch it transform before your eyes. But ultimately, we’re looking for an egg white that can somewhat hold a shape but has a peak that kind of folds over itself when you remove the beater from the bowl. Once the whites are ready, we’ll add in our nuts, toss them until they’re completely coated, then add in our sugar mix, and toss them again.

The sugary pecans will roast in the oven for about 45 minutes. We’ll flip them half way through cooking so that both sides have a chances to get nice and toasty. And after they’re finished roasting, we’ll let them cool for a few minutes, break up any large sugary hunks, and they’re ready to eat!

These pecans are the best of everything. They’re an even mix of sweet and savory. They’re perfectly crunchy on the outside while still having a nice softness on the inside. And, the Old Bay adds a surprising touch that isn’t overwhelming at all but that will make you say “hmmm”. The Old Bay is absolutely one of those surprise ingredients that nobody will be able to guess!

Ok, everyone. I want to hear all about your favorite creations from quarantine. What has this time at home inspired you to dream up?

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Let’s eat!

Recipe details
  • 3  cups
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 55 min
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  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 heaping cups raw pecan halves
  • 1 egg white

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
To a small mixing bowl, add white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, Old Bay, and salt. Mix well to combine. Set aside.
To a large mixing bowl, add egg white. Use a hand mixer to beat the egg white until soft peaks form. Add pecans to the bowl, and toss gently to completely coat the pecans in the whipped egg whites. Add sugar mix, and toss to completely coat the pecans in the sugar mix.
Spread pecans in a single layer onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 mins until the pecans are deep golden brown, tossing the pecans half way through the cooking time. Allow to cool slightly, and break apart any large clumps. Serve!
  • *Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
  • *Soft peaks means that when you pull your beaters out of the bowl, the egg whites can stand up on their own slightly, but the tops (the peak) doesn't stand up straight. It folds back over itself a little bit.
Nicole - The Yummy Muffin
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  • Eva Ely Eva Ely on Mar 11, 2021

    can you try this with walnuts or almonds?

  • Roy Berger Roy Berger on Mar 11, 2021

    Has anyone tried melted butter instead of egg whites?

    • See 1 previous
    • Roy Berger Roy Berger on Mar 12, 2021

      I like butter? None other than that. Thanks for the reply. Will try these some time (with the egg whites).