Recipe: Make A Batch Of Extra-Crunchy Candied Pecans 

This simple recipe for candied pecans involves a special (and aunt-approved) trick to ensure extra crunchy results. You're sure to snack happy!

by Stephanie Thurow
PHOTO: Stephanie Thurow

While visiting my aunt last week, she mixed up a batch of candied pecans. She made them in such a way I’d never heard of before. Before she baked the pecans, she stirred them into whipped egg whites.  

I must admit that at first I was skeptical about candying pecans with eggs, but they turned out so crunchy and absolutely delicious. In fact, we all loved them—even the children. My aunt got a big stamp of approval to make them again for an upcoming holiday gathering.  


  • 1-pound halved pecans 
  • 3 egg whites, whipped 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (optional) 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add vanilla to the egg whites and slowly add in the sugar. Once mixed together, stir in the pecans until they are all evenly coated. 

Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, then pour the melted butter out on the sheet.  

Spread the coated pecans out evenly on the baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes, then stir. Repeat this four times for a total baking time of 40 minutes.  

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Remove from oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes. At this point, the candied pecans are done as far as I’m concerned. But my aunt went a step further and tossed them in powdered sugar. This step is completely optional, however they do look more “finished” once tossed in the powdered sugar. 

Once cooled, store the leftovers in an airtight container. If you intend to keep them for more than a couple days, keep them stored in the refrigerator. 


If you toss in powdered sugar, you could even add ground cinnamon, nutmeg or clove at this point. Or switch it up and add some ground cayenne pepper powder to give the nuts a sweet and spicy twist.  

The pecans should be browned and crunchy. If not, just bake them longer.  

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