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Air Fryer Candied Pecans

Sweet, crunchy candied pecans have never been easier. Using the air fryer these delicious nuts roast in less than 10 minutes. Coated in sweet brown sugar and cinnamon with just a hint of maple syrup, these candied nuts are great as a snack or on top of a salad. They also make a great homemade gift.

Candied pecans in a small blue serving bowl.
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Roasted, candied nuts are a popular snack, especially around the holidays. They are crunchy and sweet and it is hard to keep yourself from eating the entire bowl.

This recipe has been made with pecans, but will work just as well to make candied almonds, cashews, walnuts, or any combination of nuts you like.

Making them in the air fryer, instead of the oven, saves a lot of time. While candied nuts in the oven can take an hour or more, they take less than 10 minutes in the air fryer.

Candied pecans, sometimes called glazed or sugared pecans, make a delicious topping for salads, can be used to decorate cakes, added to other snack mixes, or just served on their own. They also make a wonderful homemade gift when added to a mason jar and tied with a pretty ribbon.

Why We Love This Recipe

It’s fast – I used to roast my candied nuts in the oven and it would take more than an hour and I needed to stay close by to stir them constantly. When made in the air fryer they take less than 10 minutes. That is a huge time saver.

It’s easy – These air fryer candied pecans are made with simple ingredients that can be found in almost every pantry. And it is so easy to change the flavour depending on your preference. And if you don’t like pecans, you can use almonds, cashews or walnuts instead.

They make a great gift – Around the holidays it is always nice to have a little stash of homemade gifts in case you need something quickly. Candied nuts make a great gift. Just fill a small mason jar, add a ribbon and you’re done.

Scattered candied pecans on a table top.

Ingredients

The ingredients you will need to make candied pecans are:

  • Raw pecan halves – Make sure you select non-roasted, unsalted nuts for this recipe.
  • Butter – This can be salted or unsalted, margarine will work as well.
  • Maple syrup – Choose pure maple syrup for the best flavour.
  • Egg white – Can be from a fresh egg, or egg white in the carton will work just as well.
  • Brown sugar – Light or dark is fine. Dark brown sugar will give slightly richer flavour.
  • White sugar – Plain granulated sugar.
  • Cinnamon – Ground cinnamon, or you could use pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, or omit if you prefer.
  • Salt – To taste. I like using sea salt flakes, but any type of salt will work just fine.
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Instructions

Begin by heating the butter and maple syrup just until the butter is melted. This can be done in the microwave or on the stove.

Place the pecans in a medium size bowl, drizzle the butter over the nuts and then stir to make sure they are all coated.

Whisk the egg white until frothy. You want it to just barely hold soft peaks. You can do this by hand, with a whisk, or use a hand mixer.

Add the egg white to the nuts and gently stir to combine. Then stir in the sugar and cinnamon.

Bowl of pecans with frothed egg whites added. A bowl of cinnamon sugar on the side.

Pre-heat the air fryer at 350°F for 4 minutes. Then line the basket with a piece of parchment paper.

Pour the nuts into the basket and spread them out as best you can.

CautionNEVER pre-heat the air fryer with the parchment paper in the basket. It can fly up and get caught in the heating element. Only use parchment paper when there is food in the basket to weigh it down.

Pecans coated with egg and sugar mixture in an air fryer basket lined with parchment paper.

Set the air fryer to 350°F and cook the nuts for 5-7 minutes. Remove the basket and stir the nuts every couple of minutes.

When the nuts are no longer shiny or wet, remove the basket and pour the nuts onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread them out and immediately sprinkle with salt, if using.

Let the nuts cool for about 30 minutes. They will continue to dry and get crunchier as they cool. Then move to an air tight container for storage.

Candied pecans in an air fryer basket lined with parchment paper.

Substitutions & Additions

There are so many ways to vary the flavour of your candied nuts. This recipe uses pecans, but can easily be substituted with any nut you like, or a combination of several. Some other nuts to try include:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts

To change the flavour of your candied nuts try:

  • Adding 2 teaspoons of vanilla instead of maple syrup.
  • Use pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice in place of cinnamon.
  • Use a couple teaspoons of chili powder instead of cinnamon for a sweet and spicy candied nut.

How to Store Candied Nuts

After the candied nuts have completely cooled and dried you can store them in any air tight container or sealable plastic bag. Plastic containers, pyrex storage containers, and mason jars all work well.

They can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place about 4 weeks.

Candied nuts can also be frozen, but they may become a bit sticky and soft when they thaw. You should be able to refresh them after they’ve thawed by popping them back in the air fryer for a few minutes, then spread them on a baking sheet to cool.

Candied pecans in a small blue bowl.

FAQS

Why aren’t my candied nuts crunchy?

If your candied nuts are not crunchy it means they either were not cooked long enough, or they were not allowed to cool and dry completely before storage. It is important that they are fully cool and dry before placing in a container or ziplock bag or the moisture will make the nuts soft.

Do I need to use parchment paper in the air fryer for candied nuts?

I highly recommend it. Without the parchment paper the sticky nuts will stick to the basket.

More Air Fryer Snacks

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Recipe

Candied pecans in a small blue serving bowl.

Air Fryer Candied Pecans

Using the air fryer, these candied pecans in less than 10 minutes. They are coated in brown sugar and cinnamon with just a hint of maple syrup.
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Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Cooling time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 46 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 270kcal
Author: Deanna

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Large egg white
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Place the nuts in a medium size bowl.
  • Heat the butter and maple syrup in the microwave or stove top just until the butter is melted then pour over the nuts and stir to coat.
  • In a seperate bowl, whip the egg white with a whisk or hand mixer just until frothy, it should barely hold soft peaks.
  • Add the frothed egg white to the nuts and gently stir to combine.
  • Mix the brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon then pour over the nuts and stir to coat.
  • Pre-heat the air fryer at 350°F for 4 minutes. Then line the basket with parchment paper and pour the nuts into the basket. Spread them out as best you can.
  • Cook the nuts at 350°F for 5-7 minutes stirring every couple of minutes, until the nuts are no longer shiny or wet. You should not see any liquid left in the basket and they will feel dry, but just slightly sticky.
  • Pour the pecans onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread them out. Sprinkle with salt to taste and let them air dry and cool for at least 30 mintues.
  • When the nuts are completely cool you can move to an air tight container to store.

Notes

NEVER pre-heat the air fryer with parchment paper in the basket.  The parchment paper can become lodged in the element.
Nuts can be stored in an air tight container or sealable plastic bag at room temperature for about 4 weeks.

Nutrition

Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 36mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 102IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg
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