Candied pecans are one of my favorite treats in the fall and holidays. Rather than using refined sugar, these are sweetened with maple syrup.
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (I used plant based butter)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon of bourbon (I used a vanilla bourbon vanilla extract I found at Trader Joe’s)
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more to taste)
3 cups raw pecan halves
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a larger rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
In a medium bowl, combine maple syrup, melted butter, bourbon or vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon and whisk to blend. Add the pecans and stir to coat.
Dump the contents of the bowl into the prepared baking sheet and spread in a single layer.
Bake, stirring after the first 10 minutes and then ever 5 minutes thereafter until almost no maple syrup remains on the parchment paper and the nuts are deeply golden, 20 to 25 minutes. (The maple syrup coating will be a little sticky right out of the oven but will harden as the pecans cool.)
Remove from the oven and stir the pecans one more time, spreading them into an even layer across the pan. Let them cook down for a bout 1 minutes, then, while the bits are still warm, carefully separate and large clumps. Let the pecans cool in the pan.
These pecans will keep for up to 2 months in a sealed bag at room temperature.