sugar-and-spice candied nuts (2024)

  • Sharon

    Looks good! If you need a bit less, Trader Joes has good prices on nuts as well. Happy New Year!

  • andrea

    Looks great!

  • Susan

    Happy New Years Eve! I want these nuts so I’m gonna make them (that’s what she said..omg..I really said this here, didn’t I?). Thanks, Deb! Have fun tonight!

  • I bought my nuts this year at Costco…I was amazed how much I could get for so little! Thanks for the recipe and for your awesome blog!!! It is one of my favorite finds of 2008…Happy New Year!

  • Thanks for the Costco tip, Deb! And thanks for the recipe – snowstorm in Boston means leaving work early with plenty of time to make them for a party tonight :)

  • I made these this year too and gave them away as gifts. (Also made from Costco’s Nuts!) Everyone loved them, and I got way more compliments on them than on any of the other things that took considerably more time. Next year, I might just make these and forget the cookies. I love the paprika suggestion… might have to try that next time. Happy New Year!

  • One word. YUM. I also go to lengths (like TJs) for cheaper nuts. I need to organize all of them taking up room in my freezer!

  • I hear many good things about the hot smoked paprika…must get my hands on some and try it! Happy New Year.

  • Yeehaw! I love getting these from street vendors. It one of my favorite things about New York.

  • Happy New Year Deb!
    Thanks for another wonderful year of your blog!

  • I gave out sugared pecans as gifts this year since I was short on time for making cookies or other baked goods. Costco rocks my world with their great prices on nuts! I found the pecans I got there much better than the ones at my local grocery store.

  • I did cookies this year too, and I think next year, in pretty containers, this will make a great companion. And yes, I’m going to whip up a batch for the NYE party I’m going to tonight, because relatives in Alabama sent me a pound of pecans and I need to get rid of them too!

  • I buy my pecans from a guy from Georgia, who sells them even CHEAPER than Costco or Trader Joe’s and his are fresher.
    I am putting these on my pear and gorgonzola salad for New Yrs Eve tonight.

    Happy New Year Debra. Looking forward to reading you in 2009.
    Stacey Snacks

  • E.J.

    Deb, you’re a corker! Thanks for the ever entertaining blog and a delightful perspective on life…just skewed enough to give stuffy types a moment’s pause. BTW, Smitten Kitchen is tied for the lead over at Apartment Therapy’s best food blog of the year. Thought you’d like to know (as if you didn’t already). If it’s not too late to vote, put SK over the top.

  • Larissa

    Deb, these look divine! And being from Texas, where our state tree is the pecan tree, I am constantly surrounded by gallon bags of shelled pecans from my boyfriend’s grandmother. Now I have a recipe where they will be used more quickly!!! Thanks a million for all the awesome recipes. Happy New Year!

  • Deb,

    Kirkland Signature is Costco’s “generic” brand. They contract with other companies to provide items for them (from nuts to plastic wrap and beyond!) It’s not the same company that makes all the items. :)

  • tsp

    these look awesome! i’ve already made my nuts for tonights “big” new years celebration (thanks david leite!), but i’ll have to try these soon!

    BTW, the feta salsa…also a HUGE hit when i made it the first time last week. That’s making another appearance tonight as well.

  • Yum Yum, I love candied nuts. I typically make maple glazed pecans.

    I also made the feta salsa and it was a huge hit.

  • That’s what SHE said. I literally spit up my water ALL OVER THE COMPUTER SCREEN after reading the first sentence. Those nuts WERE dangerous. I ate all but 4 of them monday night and then of course, finished the last 4 last night and lamented their disappearance. These were AMAZING. I hope you and Alex feel better – Happy New Year to you both – and good luck with the pony. I can pony-sit for you when you’re out of town.

  • Oh my. These look good! They probably won’t even make it to a bowl before they’re in my belly. Seriously. A weakness.

  • lucy

    yum! i make these for the holidays each year, but i also add rosemary – delicious! try it.

  • Irene

    Don’t you love the dilemma of buying bulk nuts so that you’ll have them cheap, then trying to figure out ways to use them before they go bad and b/c they’re taking up so much space?
    These look delicious!
    I’m a fan of making the nyc streetcart nut b/c they don’t use eggwhites which I find messy. Jacques Torres gives a great online demo on the foodtv site. You basically cook sugar and nuts together on the stove until the sugar melts, caramelizes, then turns sandy.
    Happy new year!

  • Rachel W

    Hi Stacey Snacks-
    As a transplanted North Carolinian who no longer has a back yard pecan tree, I ask, nay plead, with you to share contact info for your cheap nuts guy with the rest of us!
    Pecans rule!

  • oh yum, I’m so making this for tonight!

  • Nicole M

    Maybe these will get my husbandl stop asking why I have a grocery bag of assorted nuts in the freezer at all times? I don’t know why he even cares since they usually go in tasty baked goods which he loves!

  • Jenny

    I just whipped some up for my friends to nosh on after bar this evening with leftover nuts from various recipes and some almonds I picked up at the grocery store today. My bf gave me smoked paprika in my stocking, so that worked out. Can’t wait to try them in 30 minutes!

  • I LOVE these! Sweet and Salty is the best combination.

  • Happy New Year! Thank you for all the great recipes, photography and humor. I always enjoy and look forward to your posts.

  • Sally

    These look fantastic! Have a Happy New Year and thanks for keeping up the good work!

  • Beth

    In addition to the salt called for, I add a little more salt to my nuts while they’re still fairly warm from the oven. Quite wonderful!

  • Yum! Happy new year. Thanks for all your lovely posts this year!

  • Dwilah

    They’ve done studies that show cold weather really doesn’t make you cold (unless you go hypothermic or are cold and wet for extended periods or something). Getting sick more often in winter is actually because people stay inside more!

    (Don’t hate me. I’m a non-hat-or-heavy-coat wearer in Chicago. I already get enough flak from the coworkers!)

  • Ah-ha! Great minds think alike! As I am also overrun with nuts at present, so I just made two batches of my new favorite thing, called “Pecan Puffs” that my friend’s sweet elderly mom first made for me. They are so simple–basically, pecans in a brown sugar meringue–but SO addicting! They’re like pecan CRACK!

    But now I need to try this recipe, too. Thanks a lot, Deb! ;-)


    P.S. The recipe for the Pecan Puffs is on my own little blog, if anyone is interested. Here’s the link (the recipe is about midway through the long post):

  • Girl, you must live on a treadmill. Just letting you know that your sacrifice is appreciated. ;-) I always wondered why the sugar never stuck to my candied nuts before, but for some reason I’d never thought to use egg whites. Maybe next time they’ll turn out better.

  • Karen

    Checkout Sunnyland Farms online for the best, freshest nuts anywhere. They are located in Albany, Ga My sister gets hers at Costco and I sent her some from this site for Christmas. She could not believe how much better they were.

    Enjoying all the recipes.

  • Suzanne from the RVA

    So how often does this happen? 2 hours before I have people coming over, I decide I need one more thing on the buffet table. Certainly Deb hasn’t posted anything new today…but wait! Something I want to make and I actually have everything on hand! Received rave reviews on your nuts! ;)

  • I love recipes with nuts. They make such beautiful bites for those in-between times that one feels hungry.

  • These are delicious AND dangerous! I used Penzey’s Vietnamese cinnamon and smoked Spanish paprika. The cinnamon overpowered the paprika so next time I’ll probably up the paprika and cut back on the cinnamon. I suggest doubling the salt so it doesn’t get lost in the sugar.

  • I’m experiencing the same CostCo effect with the same nuts in my own house. My solution originally was to make banana bread with pecans, but that will barely make a dent. Thank you for saving the space in my kitchen. Again, you’re my hero.

  • Natasha A.

    I love spiced nuts. I always do pecans. The recipe I use is done in the microwave, and doesn’t have the egg whites (husband is allergic to eggs!). Whenever I take them anywhere they are the first to go. Aren’t they amazing? and SO simple!

  • s.tai

    this looks delish! the nuts don’t need to also be toasted beforehand?

  • Karen

    Just a word to the wise…read the labels at Costco and other stores. I don’t know where their nuts are from, but I do remeber how excited I was about a bag of pine nuts from Costco… That is, until I read the back of the package, and it said they were from China. I am not usually squeamish (sic) but I am now afraid of food from China. The same goes for the bulk foods sections in grocery stores. I work at a grocery store and when I asked where the pine nuts were from, guess what? Yep, China. Waahh!

  • These look great, my dad happens to farm 20 acres of walnuts and insures a lot of almond farmers(who give us bags and bags of them at Christmas) so I have tons of nuts I wasn’t sure what to do with, I think I’ll get busy and make some of these tasty nuts!!

  • Steve

    That’s a delicious looking set of nuts, Deb!

  • These look simply amazing. I love pecans and I love anything sweet and cinnamony with a touch of the exotic. And now I know what to do with that jar of smoked paprika I brought back with me from my last trip to the US.

  • I just bought some bulk pecans at Whole Foods for a brunch dish I’m making tomorrow… highway freakin’ robbery.

    I wanted to shake the cashier, but it wasn’t her fault.

    Unfortunately, I have enough storage room to actually make a Costco membership useful… If I’ve ever flush though, this recipe is on my list ;)

    Happy New Years,

  • Just one more reason for my husband to eat his nuts. That didn’t come out right. Oh well.
    I think that I might be able to make a pound of these a week and they would disappear at my husband’s work.

  • I love nuts and anything to do with sweet and salty. This recipe is perfect and I’m excited to try this at home..


  • And just yesterday my Mom called me up for a candied almond recipe…I’m going to pass this one along to her. Looks great!

  • maria

    Just stuck these is the oven. It sure seemed like a lot of sugar. I wouldve liked the lb. measurement in cups,as I had a partially used 3lb. bag of Costco pecans. I estimated a pound to be about 4 cups (?). I will post back in about an hour to say how they turned out. Most of the posts that precede this one talk about how good they look, how they cantwait to make them, etc etc but very few that actually say they made them and how they came out, so I shall do that soon. I am making these in the hopes that they’ll be great on salad as the candied walnuts in WF are around $18.49 per pound!!!!!!

  • Mmmmm…bet some rosemary would be nice as well in this recipe.

  • What kismet! I saw this post on the 31st and just happened to have a pound of pecans and a pound of walnuts at home. My uncle harvests them so they were fresh and free! I used both kinds of nuts and took them to the NYE party I attended that night. They were a hit! Folks tried one kind first and loved it, then tried the other and thought they might like that one better. It worked whichever nut they ate first. Plus, they couldn’t believe there wasn’t any butter. If/when I do these again, I will add more cayenne because that flavor barely came through and it would have added a nice kick, but overall a great recipe. Thanks!!

  • maria

    Okay–Im back. They are good and I think they will serve my intended purposes for sprinkling on an arugula salad but—-I find that for eating out of hand, they are just a bit too sweet. I know there will probably be many that disagree with me, as I dont have a huge sweet tooth. Also, I can see where this does make a nice gift in a mason jar tied up with a pretty ribbon and a label. Its different than the usual thing that people give such as cookies. I will keep it in mind for next year. Id love a recipe for glazed nuts that have a shiny coating, similar to the ones that I saw in Whole Foods—-anyone have one?

  • deb

    Hi Maria — In the shinier category, you might be looking for something closer to the ones I use in this salad. They’re much, much less sweet.

  • Elizabeth D

    In response to Maria — I think your sugar estimate was off; hence the “too sweet” decision. One cup is 8 ounces, so you needed just 2 cups of sugar to make your pound. These do sound good. . .

  • A friend of mine led me to your blog, and I’m so glad she did! Wonderful, wonderful. I can’t wait to steal more recipes from this site and then pretend I made them up because I’m an untrained culinary genius.

  • These nuts look great! I don’t have a Costco membership, but I always ask friends that do to buy me walnuts when they go. It is quite the deal compared to grocery stores. Happy New Year!

  • please. please. post something. anything. to push the nuts below my screen.
    I love spiced/sweet nuts, and I need not be eating them right now.
    they are TOO tempting.

  • Always the tinkerer, I was leery of using the whole batch of sugar mix and left out about a third. Some of the nuts are deliciously crunchy, but other have a bit of soft sugar-egg-white softness on the bottom. Do you think I can re-toast these?

  • These nuts look delicious. Since I live in nyc and dont have a car I dont get to experience the costco effect anymore.

    I cant wait to make these

  • Dear Deb,
    I am addicted. Your information is as addictive as the nuts must be!

  • maria

    In response to elizabeth-I was estimating what a lb of NUTS(not sugar) would be–and I came up with about 4 cups–I wasnt estimating sugar. I used the exact amounts the recipe called for with regards to sugar. If I’d used a full 2 cups of sugar in this recipe, the nuts wouldve been inedible. As it was, with the 1/3 c dark sugar and the 2/3 c gran. sugar, I still found them a bit too sweet. However, like I said, I must be kinda weird in not having a real sweet tooth. I liike sweets, just dont like my sweets to be cloying. Having said that, my 15 year old son loved the nuts and had many helping of them.
    Thanks Elizabeth for your help anyhow and thanks Deb for the shiny nuts recipe.
    Id love to see posts of others who’ve actually made the sugar and spice candied nuts!!

  • kim

    i use orange juice instead of egg white and water. brown sugar, salt and cayenne. they are perfectly sweet/salty balanced and not as sugary looking. they also bake off a bit more caramelized.

  • My mother is always swimming in spiced nuts around the holidays too…Costco is amazing, you never know what you are going to find there!

  • Annette

    Do what I do.. put them in the freezer! They DO go rancid quickly in a warm place.

  • Betty

    You really don’t have to use all your nuts right away. I have a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, and I just freeze nuts in either heavy plastic bags or in glass. They last several months like that, and don’t go rancid. After all, I like to use nuts along through the year, not just when they’re in season!

  • deb

    How I wish I had room for 15 pounds of nuts in my freezer! I may have underestimated the space in there. By 10 pounds or so. :)

  • kellymo

    Oooh, this kind of recipe is the best. I Costco’d myself into something like 50 cups worth of spiced pecans as Christmas gifts for the office/neighbors this year, and they were awfully well received.
    David Lebovitz has another recipe that’s fantastic – uses melted butter & maple syrup rather than egg white. It calls for a mix of nuts & pretzels, but over time, in our house it’s morphed to all pecans with ground chipotle subbed for the cayenne and fleur de sel just to be extravagant.:) The smokiness of the chipotle smells great with the roasted pecans.

  • don

    Thanks for the reminder. Years ago I found a recipe similar to this for Cajun Cashews (you can imagine). I never tried it then because I immediately lost the newspaper column it was in.Now that I have a base recipe I’ll try it. Thanks again for this and for your blog. I love your selection, your photography and your sense of humour.

  • Danielle

    Please vote for Deb in the 2009 Bloggies. She’s been nominated before and I want her to WIN!!! Go to to vote. Thanks!!!

  • Denise

    Just thought you would enjoy hearing that you were wonderful on Martha Stewart. I was so excited to get turned on to your site. I made your candied nut recipe and it was a huge hit.I have told 30 or 40 people about your site. May this year bring you a tremendous amount of joy. Thanks for being such a wonderful blogger.

  • I am new to blogging and recently discovered yours. Everything looks delicious. I look forward to following it regularly. I was at Costco just yesterday and made a batch of burnt almonds from Delicious Day’s entry of semifreddo with burnt almonds. I plan to give them out tomorrow – dressed as “La Befana” – to a group of my Italian friends who meet for coffee each week. But I will keep your recipe for a future gift idea.

  • allie

    Yum. I made these the other day and they were so good! Thanks for the recipe!

  • These sound delicious! Can’t wait to try them. Have been looking for a chocolate toffee pecan recipe…any suggestions?

  • I do a similar combination of sweet and spice, with the addition of ground cumin. But, what my version is sorely lacking is your use of egg white – I have never done that before! I am so smitten (excuse the pun) with the look of your nubbly crust that I am eager to try out yours! These look wonderful, thank you for sharing.

  • kari

    thanks for sharing, deb. these looks delicious! perfect to stave off the bitter cold of january. have you ever made spicy-rosemary cashews? the recipe i’m thinking of may be from ina garten and published in a newspaper that my mom clipped a few years ago, but i can’t be certain. anyway, fresh rosemary and some cayenne! maybe a good way to use up your remaining nuts…

  • Mandah

    Everyone I give these to can’t stop eating them. I even gave some to my new maybe-man-friend, and he was enthralled (I’m pretty sure that I single-handedly ruined his diet). I also wanted to tell you that over the holidays, I also made the Cream Cheese Noodle Kugel (for Christmas dinner, *giggle*), the Creamy Mac and Cheese (also for Christmas dinner), and the Homemade Oreos for the cookie exchange at work. People ask me where I come up with these recipes, and I tell them about SmittenKitchen and your amazingness. So thanks for helping me look so good!

  • Dwilah

    I was looking at the pictures and couldn’t figure out why there wasn’t butter listed in the recipe’s ingredients–but then I realized it was the egg white! No butter–that means these are healthy, right?!

  • I have already decided to make these next year for Christmas gifts. And I am a big Costco fan too. Can’t believe how much you get for your money.

  • JStone

    I recently came across your blog. I have really been enjoying your posts. Your recipes inspire me to keep cooking/baking!

  • Jenniffer

    I sell a similar treat at our local mountain market in snack-sized bags for $1/oz and make a killing :) I have samples out for tasting and no one can resist :)

  • Wow those look so good! I wish I wasn’t allergic . . .maybe the pain would be worth if for those beauties!

  • Great recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    Just had to back up your husband and agree with Dwilah from above: going outside without a coat/gloves/hat in no way increases ones risk for getting the common cold.

  • The Costco Effect! I remember that when I lived near one.

  • Sonja

    Whoa, I made these today and they’re delicious, but I forgot to line the pan with parchment paper– don’t skip this step! I’ve been scrubbing and scrubbing to no avail– the sugar is cemented onto the pan and I CAN’T get it off!

  • deb

    Oh no! Try soaking it overnight… sugar usually dissolves. (Though I know that egg whites = glue.)

  • Stacey

    A very late post to say these look awesome! I do a mix with a honey/soy sauce/sesame oil/cumin/cayenne mix which always goes down a treat, but I love a straight-forward spicy/sweet mix, especially one that looks so nice and sandy/crunchy, so I’ll give these a whirl.

  • It looks perfect and appetizing, i add with a sweet sauce like a Russian or honey sauce. Think will try it over the holiday weekend. I am eager to try out yours! These look wonderful, thank you for info.

  • Very nice pictures but i think its very hard to do it at home. Professional roasting mashines make it better.

  • We taste it ( me & my children) and it is so good, thanks for sharing it, all my family enjoy it ! Really great !

  • USinDE

    I’d like to make these but in Germany dark brown sugar is impossible to find. Think I can use molasses? Can you recommend a substitution ratio? Love the site, thanks!

    1. deb

      You can make your own brown sugar.

  • USinDE

    Thanks! Made them this afternoon as a xmas-gift-tryout and my husband can’t stop eating them – sooo addicting!! :) Total success!

  • Colleen

    I used some white pepper and the baking spice (cinnamon and other things) from Penzey’s rather than straight cinnamon– delicious. Good thing I made two pounds.

  • Julie

    OMG these are fabulous… and dangerous. Best to make these when you have a plan to give them away as they are trouble. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  • Hillary

    I made these on Sunday and ate so many of them in the process! I made about 5 lbs of them – mostly with almonds and then I had a 1lb bag of pecans. I ended up having to throw out the pecans because they burned. It seemed like the almonds took longer to cook than the pecans, even though they were all in the same oven for the same amount of time. I gave little jars of the almonds away as gifts and everyone seemed to like them!

  • Beth

    Made 2 batches yesterday with pecans, walnuts, and almonds to give as gifts/bring to work for the holidays. They a scrumptious. Put them in the basem*nt to keep my hands out of them!

  • I made these yesterday to give as Christmas presents and my family ATE THEM ALL! Now I’m making them again tonight. Thinking about upping the brown sugar and cayenne this time.

  • I made 50 jars of these for my wedding and people ate all of them before the first toast. I really think these nuts were best part of the wedding for a lot of people!

  • Laurie

    I must learn never to doubt you again. I don’t know how many batches of spiced nuts I made before finally trying this one – and this one was it. So good. My grown nephews couldn’t stop eating them. And neither could I for that matter.

    Thank you, Deb, for all of the tried-and-true recipes that never seem to fail.

  • Lisa

    I made two batches of these already for Christmas gifts and am making more today. They are amazingly easy and too delicious for words. I used smoked paprika *and* a (very) generous pinch of cayenne, which my family pronounced “perfect” (we taste-tested, of course… and then we opened one of the gift jars for ourselves). Thank you!

  • I made a batch of these last night to go with mince pies and Christmas drinks – stunning! I upped the salt as suggested and used cayenne – would probably use more next time.

  • Stiffler

    I made these for a New Year’s Eve get together. I used some cayenne and smoked paprika (not hot). i think it could have used a little more cayenne, but overall, i really liked the nuts. I’m sure to make them again.

  • Morgan

    Hi Deb:
    There must be something in your nuts to bring out the delurker in me!

    How long do you think these would keep and how would you store them? (I’m thinking of making them for my wedding as a bar snack).

    Which Costco do you use???? I’m in NYC too-the Harlem location is really inconvenient!

    How does one get invited to dinner at your house??? I’ll buy the groceries and babysit!! HA!

    1. deb

      Morgan — My mother went to one in NJ. I didn’t even know there was a Harlem location! I kept mine in jars. They should last a week (possibly longer but I’m no expert on food safety so will advise you on the cautious side).

  • Annelise

    I grew up in Texas and these nuts are all the rage. In fact, when I got married I gave them away to mostly (Midwest) guests and people ask me about them all the time. Growing up we always used pecans, and when I made this recently I thought pecans worked better than the walnuts. I think they held up to the sugar better.

  • Yorgos

    I threw a party for 150 people about a month ago and apart from the buffet I had, I decided not to serve plain ordinary boring nuts and made a few bowls of these amazing treats… The first guests arrived around 9:30. At 11 I was in the kitchen
    making more. Next year I’m selling them for

  • shivani

    Deb, quick question on these – is the egg white necessary? Could one sub in water, or even some milk, a la the top of pies? I’m a vegan and just re-discovered the miracles of the NYC candied nut vendors today and am trying to replicate (or in this case, improve upon) them with yours.

    1. deb

      The egg white is what makes the spices stick without the nuts sticking together. Many candied nuts recipes don’t use an egg white, just butter or oil and sugar. They come out stickier but seem no less beloved — looks around, you might find a recipe that you can more easily tweak.

  • I just made these nuts last night and have been snacking on them pretty much nonstop since (except for a few hours of sleep but I may have walked on over in my sleep to grab a handful). So delicious and they were in the oven in no time! I don’t quite get the cayenne flavor but the cinnamon sugar is perfect on its own. Perhaps I’ll up it next time.

  • Melanie

    I love these! Just made them and I am munching away! Love this web site, I am a newbie… Great recipes!

  • Cassi

    Would using this recipe with pistachios work?

  • deb

    I see no reason why it wouldn’t work.

  • Ellie

    Does anyone know what happens to them AFTER a week, even in a sealed jar?

    I found a jar that was a month old, opened it and it was just fine. Would anyone suspect parasites? Why do they keep saying “will keep for a week.”? I love these nuts.

    1. deb

      I hate weighing in about food safety because there are real experts out there and I’m not one of them. But honestly, I cannot imagine in a moisture-free, not-too-warm environment what could go wrong with these nuts after a week. You know, if you can get them to last that long.

  • Nicole

    Holy delicious. I made these for a party and was afraid I would eat the whole pound before I walked out the door….
    For spice, instead of the cayenne I used some smoked coban peppers I got on a trip to Guatemala and used my mortar and pestle to grind them in with the salt. It added a nice spice and slightly smokey depth.
    Also, the use of egg white is brilliant. My grandmas recipe that I always used to use includes about a pound of butter, I have been freeeeeeed!!!

  • adlyn

    You are my sunshine […] you make me happy when skies are gray! Jejeje.

    By the way, regarding the Kirkland issue: Deb, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but that brand even sells… panties! Yes, they do! Not to mention yogurt, cereal, (I think) imitation cheese, office supplies, yada yada yada. It’s mouth-dropping!

  • These are awesome! Last Christmas my mother’s store got in Killer Texas Pecans, she had a sample bag and we all loved them, but even at whole sale they were 15$ for a small (6 oz) bag. As my boyfriend loved them I immediately looked up copycat recipes and asked my step-grandmother and my pastry chef uncle but all of the ll recipes I found used oil. These are soo much better, and so similar, though I probably use more cayenne than most people.

    I am planing to make these for a Thanksgiving hostess gift (pairing it with rosemary flatbread, some cheese, a bottle of wine and San Pelegrino, brownies, and pumpkin gingerbread in basket with some Honeycrisps for filler.) Thank you for this recipe!

  • I used a combination of walnuts, pecans and almonds (yipee-skipee for Costco!) and made two batches. For the first batch I used 1.5 tsp. kosher salt, 1.5 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. cayenne and the egg white/1 Tbs. water combo and baked ’em for about 40 minutes. They were good — and relatively addictive. For the second batch I used the same amounts of salt & cinnamon but forgot about the 1 Tbs. of water and upped the cayenne to about 1/4 tsp. These were the better batch by far. They were less sticky/gooey/glommy and had a nicer hit of heat. I may try equal amounts of brown and white sugar next time (1/3 C. each) and do a slightly heaping 1/4 tsp. of cayenne for a more savory-with-a-sweet-ending versus sweet-with-a-savory-ending. Either way, these are frightfully easy and really delicious.

  • Also I used this recipe to create another to knock off yet another obscenely expensive product my family has loved during the holidays: I use your basic recipe, but I cut down the salt, whip the eggs until they are very very foamy (just barely soft peaks that hold) and I replace the cayenne/paprika with a little bit of vanilla. I did these with almonds, but next time I am trying them with pecans. They make a light brittle coating, and while they are a little too sweet for me to eat straight my family loves them and I like them on ice cream or it small doses.

  • Sara

    To Shivani: I tossed the nuts in a bit of soy milk rather than egg white and it worked great for me.

  • Amy

    Someone asked about keeping the nuts longer than a week: Sogginess is the problem (or the risk), not food safety. Enjoy free of fear!

  • I use a combination of pecans, almonds & walnuts. I gave little bags of these nuts as gifts last year and recently brought some to a party….huge hit! Can’t wait to make them again this year!

  • Meredith

    This is probably a stupid question, but you use raw almonds for these, right?

  • Dang, Meredith, I was just scrolling through all the comments, hoping someone had answered a question like this! Blanched almonds kind of gross me out, I’m afraid that roasted nuts might get too… roasted, and I don’t know if I’ve ever noticed raw almonds at Trader Joe’s or any other grocery store near me. I just want to prepare myself for whatever nut variation I might find when I go shopping for this recipe.

  • Jeno

    AMAZING! I used walnuts, toasted almonds and raw almonds. The contrast of the colors between the almonds made it very pretty. Although I usually prefer almonds over walnuts, I found the walnuts to be tastier because more sugar gets between all the grooves.

    I put them in a jar and attached the recipe as well for a secret santa gift.

    Thank you, Deb!

  • Jeno

    @ Nancy & Meredith,

    The toasted ones tasted just fine and so did the raw ones. I wondered as well so used both to experiment and they came out equally delicious. Use both then you’ll get a contrast of colors.

  • Grace

    These are gorgeous – they’re in my oven now. I doubled the recipe but they seem to be taking a touch longer to get crispy. I know they’ll harden up a bit on cooling but should they be crisping up really well in the oven?

  • I. Love. These. Nuts.

    The quote from Karmel is so cute. I did just that and sent them with the Boyfriend Fantastic to his parents’ house for the holidays.

    A few notes: next time I’ll definitely up the cayenne for a bit more heat/savoriness, I did what you recommended 1.5 tsp of salt and it was the perfect saltiness, I was bad and didn’t do a single layer (some of the nuts came out gooey albeit still delicious) and I cooked them on foil but the gooey ones stuck.

  • I’m making these and your jacked up banana bread (and your molasses spice cookies) for little gifts for people (I too used little pans that are decorated saying Seasons Greetings etc. you can see them on my website). I used pecans and almonds and they are so delicious (and look so pretty). Thank you so much, Deb…you are saving me for the holidays (and my budget!!!) I know I’ve been posting a lot lately but that’s just because I only discovered your site relatively recently! Happy Holidays :)

  • Hermione

    Hee! My dad gave almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews from Costco for Christmas!

  • Debbie

    My husband was given these as a gift for Christmas from our new daughter in law TO BE, and they were absolutely delicious! So I had to ask for the recipe and now I have “found” you – SK! Thanks so much, I will be making these for myself and gifts!

  • josie P

    I’ve not tasted these yet, but my house smells wonderful as these are baking now!
    thanks for sharing!!

  • Nicole

    Making these for a gift (again!) and just ran out of parchment paper. Any thoughts on doing these nuts with aluminum foil?

  • Jllc

    I love Hill Country, we have one in DC, and I can’t wait to try these nuts! They will definitely be part of this year’s holiday gift baskets :)

  • Shelley

    I agree that this makes a great gift for the holidays! I use this recipe and sometimes add orange zest to it. YUM.

  • Julie

    I just made this recipe; it is so good, both hubby and I had a hard time keeping our fingers out of the bowl sampling it. I only had 1/2 a pound of Pecans, so I halved all the dry ingrdients. I still used the egg white and water the same. My Oven wasn’t quite at 300 when I put them in. So I baked them for 35 min. I was worried because each 10 min. I would stir them and they were still a bit wet looking. Until the last tem minutes they looked alot more set. Once they were out and drying out they Do harden up, so don’t be scared that they won’t be ready. Can’t wait to make more for Christmas!

  • Sally from Cornwall

    Just found this – I like! Going to make a selection AND a mix! Anyone know if there is anything like CostCo in the UK?! I think I could live on these!

  • Louisa

    I just made these with Trader Joe’s unsalted cashews and they are wonderful! Cook’s Illustrated has a very similar recipe, also 1 egg white and 1 tbs. water, a few teaspoons of spices… but they only call for 1/2 cup white sugar. That’s a pretty big difference, so I went with the middle ground of 1/4 cup dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup white. They came out perfectly.

    After half an hour in the oven they still seemed a little sticky, so I took one cashew out to try and left the rest in the oven. 30 seconds later, I realized my sample cashew was actually fully baked, it just needed to cool a tiny bit to harden the coating. I pulled the rest out and in just a few minutes I had a tray of crisp and crunchy nuts! So delicious!

  • Kate from NYC

    Deb–these nuts are divine! I jarred them as Christmas gifts last year. This Christmas, I’m getting married and decided to make 20 pounds of these to give out as wedding favors! I was wondering if you think they would stay fresh if I made them one month in advance, if put in jelly jars immediately after they fully cool? Advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

    1. deb

      Hi Kate — I haven’t tried to keep them that long, so I can’t say for sure. However, ours were pretty perfect after two weeks, so it seems possible that another two weeks wouldn’t have done them much harm.

  • Morgan

    Just made these with almonds (from Costco, like everyone else suggested!)- deeeeeelish! I love the smoked paprika! I added more cinnamon, and they’re the perfect sweet/spicy ratio. Thanks!

  • Leslie

    I just made these – yum! I did not have “hot” smoked paprika so I used 1/4 t. of smoked paprika & 1/4 t. of cayene pepper. No paper – just lightly buttered pan. Baked @ 250 degrees for 30 min. then stirred and put them in for 30 min. longer. I would not add extra salt next time. These are really good and all the goodies stay on the nuts. :)

  • Shanna

    I made these for Thanksgiving and they were a huge hit! Thank you for the receipe. I used walnuts & pecans this time. I also subbed aluminum foil for the parchment paper because that is what I had on hand. The whole house smelled AMAZING while these were in the oven! I will definitely be making these again.

  • Jess

    Wow, I wanted to say “thank you so much!” for your experience and recipe! I made these this evening, substituting about 1/2 tsp of nutmeg for the paprika (didn’t want the spiciness). I also doubled the batch and did 1/2 almonds and 1/2 pecans. I can’t stop eating them! They are supposed to be Christmas gifts for the adults in the family! I think I may have to make another batch just before I leave the house to see them because the ones I made tonight will be long-gone by this weekend. Great blog, great recipe, I’m definitely a fan! Keep up the good work!

  • Jenn

    Just made these for holiday gifts. They are great! I used a mix of almonds, walnuts, and pecans (at the Costco price of $15 each for 3 lbs each of almonds and walnuts and 2 lbs of pecans), and I added a touch of cumin. These are great! I tried a different sweet and spicy roasted nut recipe last Christmas, and the results were too gooey. These get crunchy and perfect! I might take a cue from last year’s recipe and add a bit of ground coriander. Also, I used a baking sheet with a silpat, which made it easy to get the nuts off the pan. I haven’t cleaned the pan yet to know how difficult it’s going to be to clean the edges though.

  • Juliana

    I used maple syrup in lieu of water. Awesome!

  • Mindy

    I made these yesterday as a test. Well, they were wonderful.
    Everyone loved them. I am going to make another batch and bag them up as Xmas gifts.

  • Mindy

    Okay Juliana, I have pure maple syrup on hand and will also use this instead of water. Thanks

  • Oh, I just made these, and the entire house smells like the holidays! It was REALLY hard to wait for them to cool enough to handle and eat. I upped the salt and cayenne a tiny bit, and added a pinch of cumin and a pinch of coriander. Delicious! Wonderful recipe. Thanks, Deb!

  • Thanks so much for this recipe, I’ve made it twice so far for two different holiday parties and was impressed with how easy it was and what a huge huge hit they were! I used almonds (which I too had a huge quantity of from Costco and didn’t know what to do with, haha) and the second time I upped the salt to 1 1/2 tsp (which I definitely recommend). For my spices instead of the smoked paprika or cayenne I used 1/4 tsp of regular paprika and 1/4 tsp of ancho chili powder because I had those on hand – turned out great! :)

  • I tried these and loved them! I’ve never made candied nuts before, I think next time I’ll add even more heat.

    I took them to my husband’s family Christmas, and they were a huge hit!

  • Ashley

    Hey y’all instead of water I used butter mixed in the egg whites…’s giving them more of a fancy toffee crunch if you prefer. Smells divine up in hurrrr!!!!

  • Sweet! Found this at just the right time, making for a large party this weekend:). Thank you!

  • Alice

    Hi from over the pond. UK to be precise. Made these last night and wow they are amazing. I did add a lot more cayenne but I can’t stop nibbling at them. They came out perfectly. A firm favourite in our house now. Thank you so much.

  • Tovah

    I just made these for a quick app at my dinner party and guests won’t be here for an hour and I’M AFRAID THERE WON’T BE ANY LEFT FOR THEM. Help!

  • Cathg1g2

    Oh I just made these.
    They are delicious.
    they are coming to drinks and nibbles at book club tonight.
    I think I will work through a lot of your recipes. I have only just discovered your site! Doh! An American friend is missing a lot of food she enjoyed back home, so once a month we are cooking together, your corn muffins are next. Thou in Australia it is a very foreign concept, cornbread etc,it’s not sweet or savoury but both…I like the idea of the muffins with some bacon on the side as brunch though.

  • nice recipe.but i prefer spice to sugar~~ i like to have a try yours

  • Claire

    I just made these and we are loving them! I had just discovered your site two weeks ago when a friend suggested going to your book signing at Powell’s Books in Portland. I really enjoyed your discussion and enjoy your site. Thank you!

    1. deb

      Hi Susan — I always have an answer for you — it’s just taking me a really long time to catch up this month. (Sorry! Seriously will not happen again.) How about these?

  • Rene

    Wow – Did no one mention how GREAT the house smells when you make these?

  • Cathy

    Made these to take to Austin tomorrow for Thanksgiving treats. So delicious! I have your granola in the oven now, smelling amazing! Love your book Deb. Beautiful photographs and stories.

  • Janet

    I too made these today to bring for Thanksgiving. I’m bringing the salad, so I’ll bring some for the salad, and I put some in a jar for the host, along with a gift bottle of my dressing. The nuts are delicious! I’ll definitely be making more of these for the Chrismas holidays. I used just pecans today, but next batch I think will be pecans and almonds.

  • Emily

    This is a seriously amazing recipe! I just made a batch as written (using the huge bag of costco pecans I bought for thanksgiving) with a couple changes: I added a tablespoon of maple syrup and a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste to the egg yolk, and replaced the paprika with cayenne, and added a pinch of ground cumin to the sugar mixture. I’ve been eating a bunch hot out of the oven — thank you for the recipe! I’ll be giving these as gifts and using them to entertain all season!

  • Alice

    Hi again. I now make these with just almonds and cashews as I think they lend themselves to the flavours. Still loving them. X

  • It’s, like, 4 years since you posted these but this makes good daddy presents! Together with Shutterbean’s candied citrus peels. My dad would love everything about this, even though he would not admit it. haha… he’s the kind that would say he’s meh with it but secretly nibble on these when no one is looking.

  • Jeannie

    I have a huge harvest of pecans from my backyard tree this year. I made three batches of this recipe, using varying amounts of Tiger Tiger brand Indian chilli powder, for my son to take to a party tonight. Planning on making much more for the holidays. What a nice gift for my very limited budget!

  • Kassie

    SOOO delish — I made them with Almonds and Walnuts … have made 6 batches this weekend and am making two more batches this week. Put in a Garnish paper bag w/ a cute label on the front … the PERFECT gift!! :)

  • Laura

    Just made these, and they’re fantastic! I altered it a bit — for sweetening, used half maple sugar and half coconut sugar which I first ground in a coffee mill to make more fine-textured. I used a liberal amount of Berber Spice (a North African spice blend) along with the cinnamon, and some extra salt. Just the right blend of sweet and spice! Really wonderful. Sending out jars and jars of it as holiday gifts. I’ll have just enough if I can keep my fingers out of the bowl! Many thanks.

  • Laura

    P.S. I got my pecans from Sunnyland Farms in Albany, Georgia. Super fresh, really exceptional, the best I’ve tasted.

  • Elise R.

    I’ve made these multiple years in a row with pecans and they’ve always been delicious!
    I have a friend who loves spiced almonds and has almonds to contribute, except they are already roasted and salted. Has anybody made this recipe with roasted and salted almonds? Was it delicious? Did you need to make any modifications (like not adding salt)?

  • Victoria

    This nice jewish girl just made these ahead of time to bring to my boyfriend’s (very southern) parents for christmas. Boy was that a mistake….I don’t think they will last until Monday!

    As a side note, I had a ton of light brown sugar but no dark, so I used 1/2 cup each of white and light brown. Is there a different ratio I should have used? I wasn’t sure how much would be the correct equivalent.

  • I live all the way north in Norway and buy my (hopefully) organic pecans and almonds at It is cheaper to buy from the States than going to our local organic supplier! Tried this, they came out deliscious. I finally got to use my smoked Maldon salt…

  • Made them with rosemary and rather a lot of smoked paprika along with the cinnamon and cayenne, and rather less sugar, using almonds, pecans, walnuts, and pepitas. Delicious.

  • Tipple+Snack

    I just made a double batch of almonds, and the house smells amazing. I’m packaging them in vintage candy jars for unique holiday gifts. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  • Tony

    This is a perfect blend for what I was looking for. I made two substitutions: Splenda for the sugar and Burbon for water. For me it does need the extra salt as recommended. Had to reduce the cooking time with the pecans from costco.

  • Hillary

    Made 3 pounds tonight with my 4 year old, and they are amazing. Everyone will surely appreciate their “let’s extend the holiday as long as we possibly can and pretend we’re still on vacation” present, right?! I just don’t understand why after making what seemed like an impossible amount of nuts, I still have way too many raw nuts to fit in my freezer! Guess I’ll just have to make more tomorrow…

  • Sarah anne

    Hi deb just wondering how many cups of nuts this recipe coats? Didn’t see the measurement for those in the recipe. And I was just going to buy enough since I don’t have space for them.

  • deb

    1 pound of nuts is usually three to four cups. Most nuts, when whole, clock in at about 5 ounces per cup.

  • Brenda

    I substitute real vanilla extract for water – also add some cumin and yes a little more sea salt

  • I was looking for a candied nut recipe to take to my city’s monthly food swap, and smittenkitchen had this great-looking recipe (the pictures always sway me to use the recipe!). I made the recipe with walnut halves and cashews, and it came out wonderfully. A few things to note:

    -I didn’t have parchment paper, so I oiled the pans and put the nuts right on the pan. While the pans were a bit messy to clean, it was not too bad.
    -I used all brown sugar (no white sugar in the house), and the results were still good.
    -The cashews took longer to caramelize than did the walnuts, FYI.

    Thanks for the awesome recipe. I am looking forward to taking these sweeties to the food swap!

  • Nadine

    I just made this and I’m hooked!! I’ve never made candied nuts but I had a bunch of pecans leftover from another recipe and wanted to use them up. This recipe was so easy, made enough to keep for myself and to share with some friends and neighbors!

  • Steven Zwolinski

    One word, pistacios……

  • Jena

    Do you have to use the egg white? I don’t typically have whole eggs on hand as I use egg beaters. Just wondered if they would turn out with out the egg??

  • Meaghan

    Jena, just a note. Egg beaters are egg whites. You can definitely use them.

  • Lucy

    I am about to use up three pounds of Costco pecans with this recipe!

  • Kimberly Clark

    Hi, I know this is an older recipe you have here but I was wondering, because of the egg whites, do these need to be refrigerated? And how long are they good? (They probably won’t last long enough anyway!!!)

    1. deb

      Hi Kimberly — They don’t need to be refrigerated. They keep well at room temperature for at least a week, and honestly even longer.

  • Courtney

    Hi Deb!
    I am a big fan and absolutely looooved your blondies recipe ( and decided to give this one a try for a Christmas gift! I read tons of rave reviews, but for some reason, but didn’t turn out at all! There was literally smoke! After opening all the windows, I doubled checked that the oven was set correctly and re-read your instructions, but I can’t figure out what went wrong…I tasted a few of the non-burnt ones, and the nuts didn’t even taste toasted! I guess this is probably just a discrepancy with my oven, but I would love if you have any other tips? Thanks, and thanks for all your great recipes and photos!

  • Courtney

    Ok, I take it all back!!!! After these cooled, I decided to try one anyways, and it was delicious!!! Toasty, sweet, spicy, awesome! I was amazed!! It turns out a little bit of the syrup had dripped onto the bottom of the oven, causing the smoke. I never should have doubted you Deb!!! Your recipes rock!!!!

  • Beth

    I make these every year and they are always a huge hit. In the last few batches, I added a tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary (in a double batch), and it’s delish. Deb, thanks for all the good you do to our souls with your delightful stories and recipes!

  • Love these nuts. I am going to mention your site and recipe on my own blog. Tweaked your recipe a little. Hope the mention is ok with you. Happy to take down if not.

  • Lauren

    WOW! these are delicious! I used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar (just because that is all I had) and they seem perfect. Made them for passover dinner tuesday night, not sure they will last that long. Thank you for another great recipe.

  • Katy Newton

    I tidied my kitchen cupboards today after eight weeks of being confined to sofa/bed with a broken leg and found that I have about six pounds of nuts. I’ve got a batch of these cooling (almond/walnut mix) on the side now. Have had a couple of still-hot nuts and they taste amazing so I can’t wait to see how they are when they’re cooled. Also, the house smells amazing. And this is the first sweet thing I’ve cooked since I broke my leg!

  • Katy Newton

    PS the walnuts worked better than the almonds – I like almonds better usually but the walnuts stand up more against the sweetness.

  • I think I’m going through a pecan craze–and this recipe is only fueling it!

  • Ana

    Must nuts always be raw to make these?

    1. deb

      You’ll probably be okay if they’re not, it’s more of a protection against the nuts overbaking before the candied coating is done cooking.

  • Susan

    I have a similar recipe that includes 1 Tbsp of ground cumin and ups the cayenne significantly (1 tsp). It only uses 1/2 cup gran. sugar so it glazes the nuts as it bakes. I probably add more nuts to insure the glazing rather than the clumping. Sweet, slightly salty, spicy, crispy and addictivel; wouldn’t be the holidays without them!

    1. deb

      Susan — Send it over! I’d love to see. My #1 quibble with 99% of candied nut recipes is that they’re sticky. The delight of these is that they’re not; they won’t stick together. I’m always curious to try other methods, too.

  • Susan

    Deb, I’ll email you.

  • Susan V.

    Making spiced nuts tonight, Happy Holidays to you Deb and family, and happy new year!

  • Laura

    Hi Deb, happy holidays! Thank you for this and all of your recipes. Made this one for the first time recently, and it was as great as it sounded. I’ve made your dishes for many fun and memorable gatherings over the years, and can always count on Smitten Kitchen for recipes that will turn out well. Thank you!

  • Maripat

    I made this recipe for staff and family gifts. Awesome recipe; loved by all, whether they prefeer sweet or spicy. I added a little more cayenne for those who prefer more bite. Stirring during the baking process is good advice, but also recommend separating the nuts from the parchment soon following baking.

  • Tekla

    OMG, Deb, what have you unleashed?! These things are like crack! I made a pound yesterday and my roommate and I are already eyeing the bottom of the bowl in trepidation. I have to buy another pound of nuts at least so that I can have them for my Christmas party!

  • Lisa

    So excited these are currently in my oven- just wanted to note that I followed the recipe (1 pound walnut or pecan halves or whole peeled hazelnuts) and then noticed when I scrolled up to look at the photos I saw you used almonds. Wish I thought to add some in before rushing through the recipe! Maybe Ill make another batch :)

  • Patryce

    Love these, have made many batches over the last several years, but I needed a vegan version for a party soon. I subbed orange juice and a little olive oil for the eggwhite and water and I think I may like them even better! I added the zest of the orange to the sugar mixture and after using about the same volume of OJ and oil and mixing everything together the sugar stuff seemed dry, so I squeezed in the other orange half and drizzled in a little more oil.

    The texture of the coating after baking is more smooth and brittle, less grainy than the eggwhite version, and the orange flavor is great. Might not have needed the oil at all, I was just thinking it would be stickier…So it was about a whole orange’s worth of juice and a tablespon or a bit more of oil total, plus the zest. Great flavor! And I use all light brown sugar, the cinnamon, the 1½ t of coarse salt and hot paprika.

  • J

    Replace the water with Sherry!

  • Hi Deb!

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. Would you mind sharing the recommended shelf life?


    1. deb

      Laura — I’d say a week or two officially, but we’ve definitely kept them longer and they were just fine, easily a month.

      J — Great idea; I will!

  • Susan V.

    Merry Christmas Deb and family, Happy Hanukkah to you all! I have made these every year since the recipe appeared on your wonderful site, people rave and crave and beg for more. I do use a lot more spice but otherwise, fantastic recipe. They keep very well in a tight container like a mason jar. Giving a bunch tomorrow to my secret Santa recipient at work!

  • Hillary

    I have made a version of these yearly during the holidays and they are ALWAYS a big hit. This year I think I will do half with this spice mixture.

    P.S. try substituting ginger ale for the water.

  • Beth

    These just came out of the oven and I’m eating them before they even cool down. So good! I used smoked bittersweet chile powder (it’s what I had) and added a tablespoon of cocoa with the cinnamon. Thanks Deb for another easy and delicious recipe. I want to serve these with some blue cheese and pears.

  • Jessica

    I made these and they are spectacular. They will be a lovely addition to the holiday table and for gifts. I followed the recipe as posted but will add more cayenne the next time. Or buy new cayenne (rather old now in my cupboard). Very little heat but just the right amount of sweet and saltiness. I used pecans but may try a mixture next time.

  • If you have vegans in the family like i do – i left out the egg whites and used 2/3 cup of confectioners sugar and a tablespoon or so of water in place of the 2/3 cup white sugar and that made a nice base for all the deliciousness to stick too. It worked perfectly! Love this recipe!

  • Katharine Brennecke

    Just took these out and they are fabulous. Only thing I would adjust is the cayenne. I think I would use more for a little more spice!

  • Sue

    This is the candied nuts recipe I’ve been searching for! Found it before the holidays, and will be using these beside the cheese tray at my daughter’s wedding soon! Not sticky, which is wonderful and set these apart from my previous go-to recipes, and just sweet and spicy enough! Loved by all and disappear quickly. Thank you!

  • Leah

    Piano recital in my home tomorrow night. These will be beside the cheeses! And we live in the middle of a grove of native Texas
    Pecans so I have a freezer full — picked out and ready to go! Joy!

  • Joal Broun

    I made the nuts to put on top of salad. Simple and fantastic!!! I put cayenne pepper and I like the heat that comes after the first bite. Even my 18 year old teenager likes them.

  • Joy

    I’ve made these twice in a week. I wanted to do a test run because I plan to use the nuts for some Christmas gifts/party nibbles. The first batch was made with all pecans. I used 1/2 cayenne, 1/2 spicy paprika, but the rest of the recipe as written. They were so delicious and quickly devoured.The second batch was all almonds, using just cayenne pepper. Also amazing and addictive. I bought pecans in bulk to use for the gifts because we liked that version best but plan to stick with the cayenne due to the spicy bite. Great recipe!!

  • Maria Bourre

    How many people does this feed and how many cups do they get?

    1. Maria Bourre

      Waiting for a reply to my question , how many 1 cup containers can your recipe fill..? I have 8 cup containers to fill for 8 people.

      1. deb

        How many people it feeds will have more to do with how many they want; not sure whether people would rather eat 2 or 20, although 8 per person isn’t a terrible estimate. You should have about 4 cups candied nuts.

      2. Beth Moloney

        Just pointing out you expected an answer in 18 minutes based on your posting times (12/10 at 8:05pm and 12/10 at 8:23pm)? Give Deb a break!

  • Natalie

    I love this recipe and have been making these nuts for years! Sometimes I substitute Chinese 5 spice powder for the cinnamon (or a combination of both) for a delicious and subtle unique flavour.

  • MaggieG

    OMG!!! These are unbelievably delicious!! Gave some to my co-workers at Christmas and they were a ginormous hit! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Anant

    I want to make these. This is the only recipe I have ever read in my life that cracked me up laughing out loud. You have a great gift: writing. Thank you!

  • Sandra Verdosci

    how long can you safely store these nuts?

  • Sandra

    How long can you safely store these nuts?

  • Love pecans. These look awesome.

  • I’ve been making these for years, after a friend directed me to this recipe – delicious! Thank you for sharing ☺️👌

  • Laura

    I’ve been making this recipe for years now! It’s a Christmas favorite. I love the blend of spices, and the little bit of kick they have.

    Yet another favorite I’ve found on Smitten Kitchen – thank you!

  • Erin S

    Currently making this recipe for the second year in a row! Made these last year for co-worker gifts (probably will again this December). I have a batch in the oven right now for my Auntie Barb who is hosting Thanksgiving! LOVE this super simple and amazingly delicious recipe – more than the sum of its parts :)

  • chi

    I first made these within a week of you posting the recipe, and I’ve made them many, many times over the years since. I always use pecans, and I’m a bit free form with the measurements of everything, the brown to white sugar ratio and spice quantities (I never say no to more cayenne and cinnamon) and sometimes adding different spices but it has never turned out anything short of delicious. It’s such a solid base recipe, it’s definitely worth making as directed or adding your own twists.

    My teenager once scoffed at them because he doesn’t like pecans. I told him he had to eat one to try it, and if he doesn’t like them, no problem, he doesn’t need to eat any more. He ate one, complained about how he doesn’t like pecans, then reached for another, then another, and then grabbed a handful because they’re that deliciously addictive.

  • Joyce

    I made two batches of these today and they are delicious. I am putting them in beautiful boxes for Christmas gifts, and thank you for submitting this recipe. I even used nuts that were not all whole and still delicious.

  • Heather

    I made these and they are currently cooling. How long do they keep at room temp? Also, can you freeze them? I’m assuming you can and I think I will try that as I want to give them as gifts in a few weeks.

  • Audra Gaines

    I make this recipe every year for Christmas – one of our traditions!

  • I make these every year for Christmas and get compliments every time. Thank you for always being my go-to for bringing smiles!

  • I made these yesterday and put them in mason jars as little holiday gifts. They are delicious and easy!!!!
    Thanks for posting.

  • Pamela Newell

    Costco is very selective with whom they do business. It is not a cut the quality for a lower price company, it’s about bulk. Yes, sometimes we buy more than we need, but we try to share and even if we don’t and some gets wasted it’s still better quality at a better price.They have fabulous cheeses, baked goods, deli foods as well as books, toys, home goods, designer clothes and gorgeous jewelry! Definitely not an “ew” place for anything.

    1. deb

      My comment is almost 10 years old. I know more about the company and brand now, of course, but at the time, it seemed strange (and definitely not appetizing) to me.

  • LT


    I made a few changes to the recipe, by adding Madagascar Vanilla powder and a touch of Nutmeg, used Paprika and Cayenne. Thank you so much, I will not “buy” these anymore!!!!

    1. LT

      I do agree, for those who prefer a bit more heat….adding extra Cayenne will do the trick. As is, this recipe has a very mild kick at the end. I want a Boom Pow Zowie! effect, so the next time I will add much 1/2 teaspoon or more pepper to my mix. I tell you, this recipe is a simple and allows for creativity. Hugs…I am nuts in love!

  • Claire

    Greetings from Scotland! I have made these every year since I came across your recipe. They are much-loved as “Christmas nuts” by friends, family and colleagues. I’m just about to make this year’s batch and also do a savoury version with salt, garlic granules and rosemary.

    For any vegans or those with egg allergies, I find that the egg white can be substituted with aquafaba (chickpea can liquid) though I find you don’t need the extra water. Just a wee tip I’ve found and thought it would be worth sharing!

    Thanks for all your recipes and your writing, Deb. I’ve been reading since I was about 20 and always come back to your blog for inspiration!

    1. Claire, I love the aquafaba suggestion since I have a couple of friends who’ve recently gone vegan. I only ever heard of the stuff a couple weeks ago on Instagram and I’m so intrigued. Thanks again!

  • Maria A Granda

    A little late to this nut party – but I am so glad I found this recipe! Let me just say – I make many batches of these to bring as hostess gifts and I give them with a warning – if you put them out for guests to eat they will be gone before you can have even one. So delicious and so easy. If you are on the fence – make them!!

  • My wife and I have made these quite a few times now. They’re always a crowd-pleaser. Thanks!

  • Corinne Flax

    Made quite a few batches of these today. Versatile base recipe that you can impose a lot of flavors on. Took more than 30 minutes in my oven- more like 40.
    Wonderful treat that I will be giving out for the holidays.

  • Tara Seeley

    Any advice on how long these keep? As in, how many days between making them and giving them as gifts do I have, and how long do gift recipients have to keep them before breaking them out to enjoy? I am thinking of these for an office gift exchange…..And, any advice on packaging? I know I can do a Mason jar, wondering if a festive cellophane would work as well to keep these as fresh as possible. Many thanks!

    1. deb

      I think they last a month, easily, if not longer. (I am not a food safety expert, however.)

  • Dawn

    I have the same questions as Tara. Would greatly appreciate feedback!

    1. deb

      I find they keep a long time. A month, easily. Cool dry pantry or cabinet, of course.

      1. Tara M Seeley

        Mine may not last until the gift exchange they are intended for! So easy to just nibble “a few” until they are nibbled gone—

  • Made these last night and they were delicious! Did a combo of walnuts and almonds – the walnuts were done by 30 mins but almonds took about 45 mins.

    1. Amy Hrynyk

      Came here to find this exact info! Thank you so much.

  • Divya

    These look amazing. Do you use raw or roasted nuts for this?

    1. deb

      I use toasted because I never buy raw nuts. But I don’t find “toasted” nuts from the store particularly roasted.

      1. Jamie

        Has anyone used raw nuts? It’s all I buy and bought to make these! Hoping they still taste as good?!!


        1. Jamie,
          I plan to use raw nuts and have for similar recipes. In fact, I buy raw and freeze them then roast or use for stuff like this. They just need a little more time, in my experience. You might try asking Deb on Instagram if you want to hear from her quickly. She’s great about answering.

  • abbywankenobi

    I made 6lbs of these last weekend to give as gifts to my employees… very successful!! Or would have been if I had more cookie sheets :) I used hot paprika and they came out less spicy than I’d hoped so I sprinkled some black pepper into the later batches. Great recipe to gift!!

  • Sarah

    Hi Deb,
    These look delish! I want to make them for holiday gifts for coworkers. I have 8oz mason jars for packaging – any idea how many batches I would need to fill 10 jars?


    1. deb

      Not positive. You might have 4 cups of nuts per pounds but there are many variables, plus, with the candy coating, you’ll get more because it adds volume. But that might help you get started. Maybe they’ll hold 1.5 cups of nuts (pre-candying) each?

      1. Sarah

        Thanks so much, Deb! I’ll comment after I make them and let you know. :)

        1. Sarah

          UPDATE: I used a mix of walnuts, almonds, and pecans and once candied, I could fill six 8oz mason jars with just 1lb!

          1. Jean

            I’ve made several of Deb’s recipes and they’re always a hit. But I must’ve messed these up. I tried doubling the recipe and there must have been too much coating because the nuts came out more like brittle. Also, I used raw and cooked for 30 minutes and the coating on many was on the burnt side. Lastly, I used the smoked paprika I had and there was no heat with these at all. Will try again another time with a single batch and hot paprika or cayenne. I’m sure this was all user error.

            1. Amanda

              I just made these last week and they’re great. Maybe try spreading them out more on the pan–were they in a single layer? Maybe check your oven temp. And smoked paprika is not the same as spicy smoked paprika–as you seem to have figured out–I used cayenne and that worked well.

  • Andi Michelsen

    Easy Peasey, I must say. I used Chipotle chili powder, nice kick with some smoke. I also make David Liebowitz’s nuts and pretzel mix, delicious also. But this is easier…

  • Chelsea

    In the past I have always boiled my nuts first. Is this not necessary? Thank you!

    1. Boiled? No, I can definitely say it’s not necessary.

    2. deb

      I, too, have never heard of this step. Do you do it to skin them?

  • Karin Conroy

    I’ve made these twice and they’re amazing. I’ve been trying to kick up the heat a bit, though. I’m up to 1/2 tsp cayenne and it’s still very subtle to my taste. Does the smoked paprika add more heat or just a smoky flavor? Any suggestions of how to get more heat or should I just keep adding more cayenne? The early, less spicy versions are still amazingly addictive and have quickly become a holiday tradition. Thank you!!

    1. deb

      Add more cayenne. Smoked paprika comes in sweet and hot, if you have the latter, you could add that instead. Cayenne and all red pepper ranges in intensity. My current cayenne can blow up a dish with heat with just 1/4 teaspoon. So, just to say, it’s not weird to have to adjust to what you have. Enjoy!

      1. Karin Conroy

        Awesome, I’m pretty confident it was my cayenne – I think it’s old. So I just ordered some good stuff that makes big claims about it’s heat from The Spice House and I’m excited to try it and get the sweet/spicy taste I’m looking for. Everything else about these is so perfect, it’s sure to become a tradition. I’ll report back!

    2. You could also try another pepper, like habanero or jalapeno powder. Savory spice Shop or Penzey’s.

    3. For those who’ve tried a savory version, dp you leave out the sugar completely? Any tips on quantities of garlic powder, etc?

  • Karen

    It looks like there are almonds in the photos, but they’re not listed in the recipe ingredients. Did almonds not work in this recipe or is the omission just an oversight?

    1. From experience, you can do almonds but they take a little longer to toast than walnuts or pecans so don’t do them together.

      1. Karen

        Thanks for the info. I made a batch of all almonds tonight. Fantastic. So fantastic that my teenage son ate most of them within an hour of them having come out of the oven.

    2. deb

      Almonds work fine; I just forgot to list them as an option.

  • varshavega

    Once I discovered this recipe, it was immediately added to my holiday gift giving list. Everyone loves these nuts! They are the first to be gobbled up at the parties.
    Thank you Deb!

  • Kalaya

    I have made this several times and find that if I add all the egg covered almonds to my sugar mixture, the sugar mixture gets all gooey. Is there another technique for this? The directions say “sprinkle” the mixture. Do you do this on the sheet? Thank you for this recipe. It’s always a hit during the holidays.

  • Pat

    I made these nuts this winter (2019) and gave them as “just because” gifts. I’ve been getting hints to make them again, soon. Thank you!

  • Maro

    has anyone tried chocolate-dipping these, a la the sparkly candied chocolate nuts? that recipe can be such a pain on the candy side (especially in bulk batches), and most of the folks in my life would appreciate a spiced chocolate version. i’m thinking a mashup may be called for.

    1. Maro,
      I like the way you think and I await reports of your progress. Yum!

    2. Maro

      Progress report: YES. this version is much easier than stirring the pot for 30+ minutes in the other recipe.

      – i wanted more spice, so dial it up in 2020!
      – BAKE LONGER! they got sticky sitting around and had to be re-baked before coating
      – coat ASAP after baking to also avoid the stickying

    3. Maro

      OH, and i veganized them with OJ and aquafaba (probably why they were stickier and needed extra bake time!). could probably do less next time.

    4. Laura

      Hi! Can you elaborate on how you did this? Did you just replace the candy with the spice in the other recipe?

  • dmerrell51565

    Made these several times-always a hit. How long will they last? Thinking of making them weekend before Thanksgiving.

    1. deb

      They last for months in a cool, dry place.

  • Katie Williams

    Do you know how long these will store? I’m making as gifts and wonder how far in advance I can make them. Also, will a mason jar be a good way to keep them fresh? Thanks, enjoy your recipes!

  • Samantha

    Well now I know what I’m bringing to every party for all eternity. I used a mix of pecans, walnuts and almonds and 1 1/2 t salt and everything is perfect. Also a touch of cayenne which even my young kids don’t mind!

  • Colleen

    I make double batches of these with pecans continuously through the holiday season. They are perfect. I typically use Aleppo pepper, which gives flavor without heat, but chipotle is also lovely.
    For those with egg allergies, you can coat the nuts with milk before tossing in the sugar mixture. It is not quite as good, but it is better than not being able to eat them.

  • Allegra

    I’ve been making these for about 6 years now. I give them out during the holidays and everyone loves them—including me and my kids. They are such a hit. Just wanted to say thank you for this gift that I can gift.
    Also, any suggestions if want to skip the egg yoke for vegan friends?

      1. Maro

        yep, aquafaba (i prefer white bean over chickpea) and/or orange juice. i did a bit of both and it was successful. someone else suggested the OJ — i did a page search for “egg” and found the suggestion

  • Just made three batches of this for New Year’s – walnuts, pecans, and almonds done separately for maximum toastedness. Now trying to keep my partner from eating them by the handful. I used Alderwood smoked salt for the extra 1/2 tsp she suggests. Otherwise, by the book. Past experience has taught me to let your nuts thaw if you store them in the freezer like I do. But, really, I came here to say “MAKE THESE!” cuz they are fantastic!

  • amabelle

    my sister-in-law gave me some of these last time i was at their place and i HAD to make them. my husband is a very picky eater but munches on these all day long! love the balance of flavors. thanks for the fantastic recipe!

  • marilyn

    I don’t have a scale…approximately how many cups is that pound of nuts {walnut or pecan halves)?

  • Marina

    Can these nuts be made in advance and canned? I would like to make a large batch and give them for gifts at Christmas which is a while away still.

    1. deb

      I am not sure about canning them — it’s just not my expertise — but they keep really well in airtight jars.

  • Adrienne Matte

    I’ve been making something similar for years. Google “Bob Blumer’s Nuts” and you’ll get the recipe. Bob Blumer is a crazy cooking show host/cookbook writer from Canada. Bob’s recipe is sugar and cinnamon with a kick from cayenne pepper. Always a hit. ❤️🇨🇦

  • Emily

    I would like to try this with peanuts, how do you think that would be? I have a severe food allergy to tree nuts but can eat peanuts.

    1. deb

      It would be delicious.

  • Sandi

    If you want to make these vegan, is there a substitute for the egg white?

    1. deb

      I haven’t tested it but a few commenters on Instagram mentioned they use aquafaba here. It seems worth trying.

      1. Sandi

        Thanks so much! I want to make them for a vegan friend who loves the spiced nuts from Trader Joes but they are expensive! I think a 5 oz bag is $5!

  • denise

    with the homemade baileys you gave us an idea of quantity the recipe produces for jarring/gifting/drinking. do you have a rough idea of the number of a certain ounce jar this recipe will yield? thanks if so!

  • David Perlmutter

    Amazingly delicious and addictive!

    Maybe consider a second layer of parchment paper – mine melted onto the sheet pan along with the caramel.

  • Sarah

    How long do these stay good? Should they be stored a certain way? Thanks!

    1. deb

      I keep them in jars at room temperature (or cool room temp). I found they kept for months, whether they were supposed to or not.

  • Tom

    Hi there – I made these last night and they’re fantastic.
    When they were cooling down on the rack, they were dry to the touch. I had hoped they would stay like this – but left them overnight and they’ve gone sticky and aren’t so easy to eat… Does anyone have any tips to remedy this ?
    many thx !

    1. deb

      Did you leave them uncovered or covered? Try rewarming them in the oven so they’re dry again and cooling them uncovered, on an open sheet or tray overnight.

  • Jackie

    I made these last weekend to be jarred and given as gifts- I tripled the recipe and good thing because my “quality control” taste testing made a sizable dent in what I had left to give away. Well received by all and yet another SK keeper.

  • Jessica Cicale-Mahon

    I’ve made these so many times over the years and they always disappear so quickly. Everyone loves them! They make a great gift as well as a special “just because” snack. I have not found a nut this seasoning doesn’t work with- I’m allergic to pecans so I use almonds, hazelnuts, cashews- my husband gets all the pecans and walnuts. Thank you for this delicious recipe!

  • Abby

    Made this today to hand out to family for a socially distanced Tu Bishvat! I used a mix of almonds, pecans, and walnuts. For the spice mix, I used light brown sugar (all I had), cinnamon, and a generous dash of hot paprika and smoked paprika each. After coming out of the oven I felt I wanted more of a salty-sweet balance so I sprinkled more salt on top, and the residual heat seemed to do the trick helping it stick. Bottom line – these are delicious.

  • Ashley

    I have made this recipe twice, and it didn’t turn out either time. The nuts stay gluey and chewy, even when they’re baked for 10 minutes longer than the suggested cook time.

    1. deb

      I wonder if they need even longer. They should eventually dry out and once cool, should be unsticky.

      1. Tom

        Hi guys – I’ve made them a couple of times now, initially having problems when they went sticky after being left to cool overnight uncovered.
        I’ve since found that the best result is letting them cool for 30 mins or so until dry to the touch, then picking them off the baking paper and putting them in a jar whilst still slightly warm. This way they cool properly and remain dry.
        good luck !

  • Deb

    What a nasty little comment, ew! And costco was just as good in 2008 as it is now honey

  • Dina

    Once made how long do these keep (provided they aren’t devoured in one day)?

    1. Dina

      Just saw the answer in comments, whoops!

  • Vicky

    These look good. Did you use almonds and pecans?

  • Dawn Boyce

    Oh my goodness! I just made these for the first time to give as gifts to some of our neighbors and friends. I should have never taste tested them. I’m not sure there are going to be any left for giving. I am a big fan of the salty/sweet combo and these are spot on. I did increase the kosher salt to 1 1/2 teaspoons and used a pinch of cayenne and a scant 1/4 teaspoonof smoked paprika. I also used Tung Hing cinnamon, which has a bit of a kick. Perfect! Getting ready to run to the store to buy more ingredients

  • Barbara

    I halve the sugar when I make these. Otherwise they are much too sugary and sweet for me. No one has complained yet. Cheers!

  • Jackie

    Made a triple batch of this using a pound each of almonds, pecans and walnuts- so good, so easy and so well received. Toasted all of the nuts first and used smoked paprika, what I had on hand, which is nice but will search out hot smoked the next time I make this or up the amount – either way YUM!!!!

  • Joani

    Wow, these are fantastic. I tripled the recipe to give as gifts, used pecans, walnuts, almonds and pretzel sticks.
    I didn’t triple the sugar, it seemed like it would be too much, used 2/3 & 2/3.
    Only had chipotle powder, used that with smoked paprika, added more salt like you suggested.
    Spicy, sweet and salty umami!

  • andrew

    oh my gosh a home run!

  • Lisa Hildebrant

    I make sugared pecans every year as gift for teachers, coaches, neighbors…This recipe is very similar. Kinda wish they were even a bit spicier. I also baked them per my recipe, where they are roasted @ 250 degrees, for 4/5 -15 minute intervals. Stir them each time and bake until dull. I also cool them on tin foil. Glass jars would be very cute, but I make almost 20 pounds each year, so put them in cello bags with cute tags. Sam’s Club and Costo and the best buy.

  • Sara

    Hi, will Muscovado sugar be ok for these? And do you use a convection or static oven? 30 mins sounds like a long time. Thanks

  • I looked and didnt see an answer to my question. Should the nuts be raw or already roasted?

    1. Shannon

      Deb uses roasted nuts. I made this with raw nuts yesterday and it still turned out great – I just had to cook them for 20 minutes longer.

  • Ally

    This worked perfectly! I think I would definitely add a little more cayenne next time Moreover, I would play with the spices a little, maybe by using some chile powder or paprika, but I may save that for almonds. And I’m not the best at timing my cooking so that I have a use for the leftover egg yolks, but this time I was able to use them in a batch of ice cream!

  • Jennifer VanOrsdel

    Do you cost only the walnuts with egg white/water?

  • Amanda

    One of the best candied pecan recipes ever. These are a major hit and a great gift idea! I added 1tsp ground ginger plus 1tsp chili powder and reduced thr sugar to just 1/3 cup total (half powdered sugar and half light brown sugar) So SOO good!
    Thanks Deb!

  • Donna

    Wow you guys get such good prices down there. I just checked our Costco’s prices, and it’s $23.00 for 2 lbs.

  • Rebecca

    I can’t believe I’ve been making and gifting these delicious nuts for 14 years. (!) Thank you for this recipe! My friends and family have loved them for a long, long time.

  • Madison

    I make these as Christmas gifts every single year, probably 5 years now. People love them (and so do I)! I always use just pecans; I also use non-hot smoked paprika and 3/4 tsp sea salt (Deb suggests 1.5 tsp kosher for a more salty balance, and I use half that since I just have table salt—it’s salty/sweet but not overly salty, just enough to keep you reaching for more!) and I hold back about 1/4 cup of the sugar mixture since I find I prefer a bit of a higher nut-to-coating ratio. This is still amazing written as is, though, just about personal preferences. Highly recommend!

  • Laura

    I made these for the second year and a row for all of my kids’ teachers. I sub the recipes spices for an equivalent amount of Curio Kandy Spice. People seem to love them and it feels like a special gift.

  • CMT

    I’ve grown up with a version of this (all credit to my wonderful and dearly missed Aunt Barbara) – Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without it! I recommend Chinese Five-Spice Powder and/or some Trader Joe’s “pumpkin pie” spice as variations on the theme – my first year college student seems to need a batch sent across the country every two weeks. <3

  • Sarah Brown

    How long do these last for shelf life? I want to mail some overseas to my brother, and I always give it at least 2 weeks…

  • Louise Cavanaugh

    How long do these keep? Is it too soon to make them for holiday gifts?

    1. deb

      Not at all. I find they keep easily for a month.

  • Lori Fallon

    How long will these keep? I’s like to make them for my daughter but need to mail them from NY to NC. Would they be fine?

    1. deb


  • TessMarie

    Made these for the first time last night for a party and they were a big hit. Used all pecans and only 1/3 cup instead of 2/3 cups white sugar. Great balance of sweet and salty. Didn’t toss nuts halfway through cooking time but did rotate pan. Came our perfectly. (I baked the nuts on convection setting for an hour to try and draw out any moisture and make them crunchier – 175 degrees F)

  • Madeline

    We LOVE these! I do 1/4 tsp smoked paprika w/generous pinch of cayenne. Making them for the 3rd time in 2 weeks – have given mason jars full as quick holiday gifts w/bottle of wine and my husband NEEDS more for us lol!

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