Candied pecans are the treat that makes my Aunt Tonda a bit of a legend around the holidays. She sends a batch to my dad every Christmas, and he is very territorial about that annual bag of sweetness. I always try to sneak a few out of the batch without him noticing, because these are seriously the most magical treat (not a healthy treat, I might add).
This year I decided to just ask Aunt Tonda for the recipe, not sure she’d be willing to give it up. As it turns out, this isn’t a top secret recipe. That tends to be the case with many family recipes, I’m learning in my adult years. But these 4-ingredient pecans are absolutely divine, and the real secret is that they use sour cream! Who knew?
If you’re looking for a last-minute, homemade treat for the neighbors, a teacher or co-workers, I highly recommend this no-fuss recipe. They present well, and you can buy pecans in bulk (hello, Costco!) to cut down on the overall cost.
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 cups pecan halves
- 1 teaspoon maple extract
Add sugar and sour cream (mind blown) to a medium saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until combined.
Continue stirring until mixture reaches a soft ball stage (240 degrees F). Note: You’ll want to use a candy thermometer to get this right. Once soft ball stage has been reached, remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon maple extract.
Add 4 cups pecan halves to the mixture and stir to coat. Spread out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to cool.
Once cool, break into small pieces and store in an air-tight container.