I loved the bourbon mashed sweet potatoes at Red Lobster so much I took a picture to remind myself to do a copycat recipe. I didn’t work on the recipe immediately, but every time I looked at pictures on my phone I remembered I still needed to work on them. Two months later, I decided to work on that recipe. I’d looked at recipes online and found a simple one for the sweet potato mash and a second one for the candied pecans.
I changed the measurements of the original bourbon candied pecans recipe as I had a 5 ounce bag of chopped pecans. I was super pleased that my new proportions worked out so well. In fact, I couldn’t keep my hands out of the finished candied pecans. They are that good! I had a hard time saving enough for my sweet potato dish!
I used a large nonstick skillet on medium heat, melting the butter first before adding the pecans.
I stirred the pecans until they were covered with butter.
Next I added the brown sugar, again stirring until the pecans were covered and I was sure the sugar was melting.
I let them cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. They were already beginning to caramelize and stiffen up.
I added the cream and about 1/4 teaspoon of salt, stirring well to make sure it was fully integrated into the mixture.
Bourbon was my last addition, I didn’t measure it but it was about a tablespoon, give or take. I stirred the mixture until it again began to thicken. I let it cook for another 2 minutes, breaking it up as necessary until it was very stiff.
I removed the skillet from the heat and poured the pecans onto a silpat covered baking sheet. I let the pecans cool for a few minutes, then broke them up further and spread them out.
I’d preheated my oven to 350°F and now I placed the baking sheet into the oven for 10 minutes. I guessed at the time, going by smell more than anything. They smelled just right. When cooled, they were dry and with a nice crispy crunch to them. I was so happy with my first effort to caramelize pecans!
I let the pecans cool then broke them up into smaller pieces and stored them in a covered container. Mostly. I nibbled on them often and eventually had to hide them from plain sight so I had some left for that sweet potato dish I mentioned earlier. Now that I’ve made them once, I’m thinking they’d make an excellent gift bag for special occasions. Who wouldn’t want some bourbon candied pecans? Everyone I know!
Bourbon Candied Pecans
- 5 oz chopped pecans
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cream or half and half
- generous pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
DirectionsMelt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Stir in nuts.
Add brown sugar and stir well.
Stir in cream and bourbon. Continue stirring and breaking apart lumps for 7-8 minutes. Mixture will stiffen and the moisture will cook away. Stir until caramelized.
Spread on a silpat or parchment paper covered sheet pan. Place in preheated 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Break apart and store in an airtight container.
Adapted from Food.com