Caramelized Pecans

Caramelized Pecans

Nueces Garapiñadas
2 1/2 cups
Pati Jinich
Course: Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: brownies, pati's mexican table, Peanuts, pecans, sugared nuts
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Caramelized Pecans recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 3, Episode 6 “American Classics, My Way”


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pecans or peanuts, you may use other nuts as well

To Prepare

  • In a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, add the sugar, water, vanilla and pecans. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, occasionally, as it heats. It will come to a simmer, continue to cook for about 6 to 8 minutes. The pecans will be entirely covered by the transparent liquid and there will be a strong simmer.
  • Suddenly, the mixture will appear as if completely covered in sand: grainy and you will think you have messed it up! You have not. Continue to cook, and that clumped up sugar will begin to melt and caramelize around the already hardened and covered pecans. Stir continuously and don’t let the pecans burn. Adjust the heat if need be. You should continue until you see no more white sugar, and it is all melted and caramel covered, about 10 minutes more.
  • Pour the mixture onto parchment paper. Separate the pecans as you do, using a wooden spoon, or help yourself with another wooden spoon, using them as extensions of your hands. The caramel dries fast, and you will want to have the individual hardened pecans, not many clumped up. Though, nothing happens if a few clump up...
  • Once they have completely cooled and dried, you can store them at room temperature in a tight container.

16 comments on “Caramelized Pecans

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  1. Thought I had messed up but …. They came out great.. I admit to quitting at the sugar covered stage then looking at the picture again.. Reheated the pan and they still came out nicely. That recipe is idiotproof. I am proof of that. Made them for my wife as she loves candied nut on salads.

  2. How can you not try a recipe that has the thrill of possibly having “messed it up” only to end up with deliciousness? I added red chile powder and a little salt, as I’m using them on a salad. Can’t wait to try those Extreme Brownies!

    1. Yummy Debbie! Let me know how you prepare those “Extreme” brownies, and how they come out with these pecans and your chile powder!

  3. I have always used the oven to make candied or caramelized pecans. This will be my first time using the stove top. I always like to use orchard fresh pecans rather than the grocery store pecans. I found a great orchard in Texas ( that has halves and pieces. They also have meal and pecan butter. I find it interesting that you don’t use cinnamon or all spice. Well, time to get busy in the kitchen. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  4. Pati,

    My daughter and I saw this episode and wondered if you could send the video link for us to watch it again (we are visual learner’s), also we jumped up and said “oohhhh, we can “Ketofy” this recipe with changing the flour with almond flour and the sugar with Swerve. Pati, as Hispanics, we LOVE watching your episodes and would love to see more of your recipes with a “low carb, more fat (good fats) and sugar substitute” emphasis, only because as American’s we are facing a type II diabetes epidemic. Your recipes remind me of my Mexican’s mothers cooking back in the day. Thank you!

  5. Hi Pati,
    I am happy to see your show here in AZ. It is because we subscribe to another cable t. I will cook your Flourless almond cake tomorow. Your show is terrific. Your enthusiasm is super. I love your show.

  6. My family and I enjoy your program and making your recipes. We are looking forward to obtaining your new book. thank you.

  7. Hola Pati! I just finished watching this episode and all the recipes look so delicious and super easy. I’m especially anxious to try the caramelized pecans. I always make spiced pecans as Christmas presents for family but this may be a new favorite! Thanks!