Addictive Bourbon Candied Pecans

The holidays are here! This is one of my all-time favorite recipes to make during the holiday months. These pecans are perfect as a gift and I always get so many compliments on these addictive nuts when I give them to coworkers and friends. You can probably choose to do these with most nuts, but pecans just scream holidays to me and they are extra special in my opinion.

This recipe was modified from how I used to make these pecans when I wasn’t vegan. Usually you mix the nuts up with some egg whites, but who needs egg whites when you’ve got aquafaba! If you don’t know what aquafaba is, it is essentially the cooking liquid from beans. In this case we are going to use chickpeas because I find that works best and most closely resembles egg whites.

You can either cook your own chickpeas the day before, but let’s be honest, who has time for that. I’m using canned chickpeas here. TIP: If you have no use for chickpeas yet but need the aquafaba, just use your can opener and open about an inch of the can. You can then measure out your 3 tbsp of liquid without opening the whole can. Put some plastic wrap over the top and store it in the fridge for no more than 3 days or so and use then instead.

Now let’s talk bourbon. Again, since these are for the holidays we HAVE to make them extra special. When you tell your friends and family that there is bourbon in pecans, they get very excited to try them. It adds a unique flavor to the nuts when roasted but no worries, you won’t get a buzz off these nuts. Maybe just a sugar rush.

For spices I use some vanilla and cinnamon but go ahead and experiment if you want! Throw in some nutmeg, cardamom or even pumpkin pie spice if you’re into that. This recipe is very easy to modify to your liking so feel free to get creative!

Add that aquafaba, bourbon and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk it up for about 2 minutes or until it is frothy and bubbly. After that add in your pecans and coat them to soak up all those juices. After that sprinkle over ½ up of the sugar, the cinnamon and salt and mix to combine. Then add in the last ½ cup of sugar and stir to coat.

Throw the pecans on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and into a low oven of 250 degrees. You don’t want to burn the nuts so we are cooking low and slow. Give them a mix every 15 minutes or so for 45 minutes to an hour. You’ll know they are done when you smell heaven coming out of your oven and the nuts are a little crispy but not burnt. Let them cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of pecan halfs
  • 2 tbsp aquafaba (chickpea liquid)
  • 1 tbsp bourbon or whiskey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, vigorously whisk the aquafaba, bourbon and vanilla until very frothy.

In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon and salt.

Add pecans to egg white mixture and toss until evenly coated.

Pour half of the sugar mixture over pecans and toss several times then add remaining sugar mixture and toss until evenly coated.

Pour coated pecans over a parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread into an even layer.

Bake in preheated oven 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Allow to cool then store in an airtight container and try not to eat them all in one sitting, I dare you.

These make a perfect gift for friends, family and coworkers for the holiday! Give them away in a cute jar or box with a pretty ribbon. You will make a lot of people very happy.

Enjoy!

Melissa

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