While your nuts are toasting, get out some foil or parchment (I always use foil because it’s closer and there isn’t much time for those extra two steps to get the parchment paper out of the pantry). Get out a couple of forks and some kosher salt. This is the secret ingredient!! They were awesome before, but a necessity after I started adding the salt. Do not skip this!
When the nuts are toasted, turn the sugar up to medium heat. Sugar burns quickly too, so I start it at a low heat to get it going, and then turn it up when I’m ready to use it. Trust me, you do NOT want burned sugar!
The sugar will liquify and turn a beautiful amber color. When it’s mostly melted I turn off the heat, stir the sugar to finish off any crystals that remain, and then quickly dump my toasty nuts in.
Keep working very quickly! Stir the nuts into the sugar and evenly coat them. Once they are coated, quickly dump them out onto the foil/parchment. Grab the forks and spread them out a little. THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART!!!! Pour some kosher salt into your hand (1/2-1 teaspoon) and sprinkle over the hot sugar. Don’t let the sugar cool first or the salt won’t stick. You want the salt to stick!
Once they are salted, continue spreading the nuts out into a single layer to cool. When they are cool, eat one and groan just a little because it’s one of the best things you’ve ever tasted. Then break them apart and store them in a plastic bag in the fridge.
1 1/2 cups whole pecans, rough chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
Place sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Toast your pecans under a broiler for 2-3 minutes, watching them carefully so they don’t burn. Turn the sugar up to medium heat. Once it is mostly an amber color, turn heat off and stir to finish dissolving sugar. Working quickly, dump the nuts into the sugar and stir to coat. Dump the coated nuts onto the foil/parchment paper, and using two forks, spread them out a little. Pour some kosher salt into your hand and sprinkle it onto the nuts while they are still very hot. Then continue spreading them out as they cool. Once cool, break them apart and store in a plastic bag in the fridge. If they last that long.
*I use these in salad instead of croutons. It gets rave reviews every time.
*I have also candied walnuts and almonds–and they’re good–but pecans are definitely my favorite!