Maple Molasses Candied Pecans

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

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Maple Molasses Candied Pecans are the perfect hostess gift and an easy snack for guests.

Maple Molasses Candied Pecans are the perfect hostess gift or an easy snack for guests.

When you want a good nibble in a hurry, candied nuts are always a great option. They’re quick to mix up, don’t take long to bake and are so yummy.

When I was growing up we’d have a big bowl of whole nuts in the living room. It was an old fashioned sort of holiday treat that you could leave out all through December. As kids we preferred bowls of ribbon candy or barley toys but once in a while we’d sit down beside the bowl and start the slow process of snacking.

  • Maple Molasses Candied Pecans are the perfect hostess gift and an easy snack for guests.
    Maple Molasses Candied Pecans are the perfect hostess gift or an easy snack for guests.

 

You have likely noticed that the tradition continues and you can still find mesh bags of mixed nuts in the produce section of the grocery store. In this world where so much is processed and prepackaged it’s comforting to see something as simple as whole nuts are still available.

 

We have other recipes for candied nuts on this website but I have to say Maple Molasses Candied Pecans are the easiest. Pecans toast up quickly and evenly, and the whole batch is ready in under 30 minutes. Feel free to change up the spices. The recipe is adapted ever so slightly from the lovely blog The Cafe Sucre Farine.

You might also like our Gingerbread Spiced Almonds and Five-Spice Candied Nuts.

Maple Molasses Candied Pecan Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups pecans (raw)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Have a second sheet of parchment nearby.
  2. Combine all ingredients except pecans in a medium pot. Stir to combine then stir in pecans.
  3. Warm over medium heat until mixture is very runny (don’t boil) for about two minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Pour mixture onto prepared pan and spread into a single layer.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir well then spread out again to a single layer. Bake until deep golden brown, about 8-12 minutes more. Watch carefully so they don’t overcook.
  6. Remove from oven, stir again and then spread on the reserved sheet of parchment to cool. (Moving the pecans to a clean sheet of parchment will keep them looking tidy.)

 

Melt in your mouth Molasses Walnut Cookies

Servings: 2 1/2 dozen cookies serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

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Molasses Walnut Cookies  are a buttery shortbread-style cookie loaded with ground nuts and coated in powdery white icing sugar.

molasses walnut cookies

Snowball Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cookies…

These cookies go by all sorts of names but they’re all the same buttery shortbread-style cookie loaded with ground nuts and coated in powdery white icing sugar. They’re a festive cookie if there ever was one, with their snowy coat.

This version swaps out the pecans for walnuts and replaces the corn syrup with molasses, and the flavours meld so beautifully that you’d think this was a holiday classic. And maybe it is.

The version of this cookie I grew up with were my mom’s hazelnut crescents. Even as a youngster they were the first I chose off the cookie plate and any leftovers in the freezer after the holidays were reserved for me and me alone.

molasses walnut cookies

Variety on your holiday cookie plate is a wonderful thing and these cookies are guaranteed to offer that. Dense with nuts they have a satisfying substance tucked into that buttery crumb.

The recipe offers endless variations. Try it with ground pecans or hazelnuts instead of walnuts. Add the zest of half an orange or double up on the spices.

molasses walnut cookies

Molasses Walnut Cookies Recipe

Makes 2 ½ dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • Pinch of ginger and cinnamon
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 scant cup ground toasted walnuts (a cup of walnut pieces whirred in the food processor until crumbly)
  • About ½ cup icing sugar, sifted (for rolling baked cookies)

Instructions:

  1. Beat butter until creamy then beat in molasses and vanilla. Stir spices into flour and add in three additions. Stir in ground walnuts. Scrape dough into a ball, press into a disk and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 F
  3. Roll dough into 1” balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1 ½” apart.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. When cool roll in icing sugar. Or roll when warm and dust again with sugar when cooled.

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Cranberry walnut brittle – the delicious & nutritious in one sweet bite

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I have never been much of a candy maker but I love the look of shiny brittle so figured that it’s worth making once a year.

And as far as homemade gifts go it’s pretty spectacular. Glossy and filled to the brim with good stuff, Cranberry Walnut Brittle lets you have the delicious and the nutritious in one sweet bite. Feel free to mix in your favourite nuts and seeds.

I found the original recipe on the food blog Adventures in Cooking. They made it with honey, which I’m sure is delicious too but there is something about molasses that smells and tasts of holiday celebrations and special times spent with family and friends.

Holiday Brittle (Cranberry walnut brittle)

Adapted from www.adventuresincooking.com

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  1. In a large pot combine the sugars, molasses, water and salt.
  2. Bring to a gentle boil over low to medium heat, stirring from time to time.
  3. Using a candy thermometer heat the mixture to 302 F. (On my stove this took close to an hour).
  4. While the sugar mixture is boiling, place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking pan.
  5. Lightly grease the parchment paper.
  6. When the sugar mixture reaches 302 F, quickly remove from heat, stir in the butter and nuts and turn out onto the prepared pan.
  7. Use a rubber spatula to spread as thinly, and evenly as possible. The mixture will start to seize up immediately so you’ll have to work fast!
  8. Cool and break into pieces.

For more Holiday gift ideas check out our Holiday Book, a free e-book full of our favourite Holiday recieps.

This candy is chock full of good stuff!

Five-spice candied nuts – quick to prepare and delicious

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Less than a week ’til Christmas. “Homemade gifts in under 20 minutes” sounds good to me…

I’m a sucker for spiced nuts. Ever since my sister started making these years ago I have been eating more than my fair share over the holidays.

They’re sweet, a little spicy and crispy with a light candy coating. They don’t stick in your teeth.

I make them to give as gifts but always make extra so there are left overs for use to nibble. They’re a practical snack to have around the house, store well and have a whiff of healthiness about them.

Better yet, they take almost no time to prepare.

Find this recipe and more in our little Holiday e-book.

Here’s a tip: If Chinese Five Spice powder isn’t your thing try chili powder or your favourite spice blend. And mix up the nuts too. Sometimes I make these just with almonds, or walnuts and sometimes I mix the two and throw in a few pecans.

Five-spice candied nuts

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 5 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups mixed nuts (raw)
  1. In a large saucepan or wok, melt butter.
  2. Add sugar, molasses, water, salt and spices. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  3. Add nuts to the mixture and cook until syrup thickly coats nuts, stirring frequently (5 minutes or so).
  4. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 F until nuts are lightly toasted and a little crisp (10-15 minutes).

Test while baking to ensure you don’t overcook the nuts and the syrup doesn’t burn.

Nuts about nuts? Try Gingerbread spiced almonds.

What are your favourite homemade gifts to give (or receive)?

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Gingerbread spiced almonds – a quick hostess gift

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Whenever I see cans or jars of roasted nuts I think of my dad. He loved to nibble salty peanuts and cashews along with a drink before supper so as kids that’s what we’d often buy him for his birthday and for Christmas.

His birthday was December 21st so by the time Christmas arrived the house was usually full of nuts (so to speak). Sometimes he’d hide the special tins in his armoire (along with his fudge) but more often than not there would be a bowlful of mixed nuts on the table before supper.

I always liked the almonds best and used to pick them out of the bowls of mixed nuts. That`s why I use almonds in this recipe rather than the pecans originally called for. I also amped up the spices since I like more than a hint of that gingerbread taste. (The original recipe came off the LCBO Food & Drink website.)

I sometimes make these to give as gifts, or to bring as a hostess gift when we`re invited out to eat. If you`re having friends over these are a speedy (and delicious) nibble with drinks before supper.

Gingerbread spiced almonds

Gingerbread spiced almonds

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • Pinch cayenne or a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 2 cups raw almonds (or your favourite nut)
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter with molasses, sugar, spices and salt.
  2. Stir to combine and continue to stir until sugar has dissolved.
  3. When mixture starts to bubble add nuts and stir until well coated.
  4. Turn nuts onto a parchment lined baking sheet, spread in a single layer, and bake at 300 until nuts are nicely toasted, about 20 minutes.
  5. Stir from time to time while baking and begin testing after 15 minutes or so (you don’t want the nuts to get too brown).
  6. Cool and break into pieces.
  7. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

 

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email.

 

We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

 

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Peanut Brittle

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Peanut BrittlePeanut Brittle

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unsalted peanuts

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar, Fancy Molasses, corn syrup and water in a heavy, 3-quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium and cook without stirring to 234°F. Add butter and continue cooking to 285°F, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Remove from heat. Add baking soda, vanilla and peanuts and mix well. Pour into two lightly buttered baking sheets spreading as thinly as possible.