These keto candied pecans have the crispiest sugar free glaze! They are crunchy, crispy, buttery, sweet and salty at the same time. This easy recipe requires only 4 simple ingredients. It is a delicious snack and also great as an edible gift during the holiday season.
Glazed pecans and I go way back. I always used to get a bag when we went to the Christmas markets in Germany. Everything about them was wonderful: The crisp sugar shell, the warm, soft nut, the smell of browned sugar and the little paper cone they came in.
Last week, I published this keto peanut brittle, which was a great success. This made me think - how lovely would it be to make sugar free candied pecans!
The tricky bit was this: Sugar-free sweeteners do not behave the same way sugar does.
You see, the only sweetener that sets hard like sugar is erythritol. However, it recrystallises as it cools. This means you'll end up with a slightly gritty texture - not a smooth, crystal-clear glaze.
You can get around this by simply using a different sweetener such as allulose, which stays smooth even when cold. And then store your dessert in the freezer.
But this time I wanted to have my cake and eat it, so to speak.
I was determined to find a way to make smooth keto glazed pecans that can be stored at room temperature.
And guess what - I did it!
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy - only 4 ingredients and ready in 10 minutes
- Crispy and crunchy - a smooth "no sugar" glaze that sets hard just like the original
- Store at room temperature
- Nutritious and filling high fat snack
- Sugar free and keto friendly - Only 0.3g net carbs per portion
Let's take a look at the ingredients you'll need:
- Pecans - Make sure that they are fresh. They should be soft and taste buttery.
- Sweetener - I used a golden granulated erythritol monkfruit sweetener blend called Lakanto Gold. White erythritol or erythritol blends such as Swerve work too.
- Butter - Use salted butter, or add a pinch of salt into the melted "sugar" mixture.
- Brandy - my secret ingredient! It is essential to keep the erythritol from re-crystallising. Another spirit such as vodka would work as well.
This section contains step-by-step instructions and photos that show how to make this recipe. See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities
Step 1: Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the sweetener and turn up to a medium heat.
Step 2: Stir until the sweetener has melted fully, the mix is bubbling and has turned a golden brown.
Step 3: Take the pot off the heat. Add the Brandy and stir. Then, add the pecans and fold through with a spoon or spatula until they are covered evenly.
Step 4: Spread the pecans out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Make sure you line it with parchment paper first. Let cool until firm.
This is a very simple recipe. However, here are a few helpful tips so your candied pecans turn out perfect, with a smooth crisp glaze.
Tip 1: Add the brandy after you take the pot off the heat. The alcohol is not supposed to cook off.
Tip 2: Use a saucepan with a light interior - silver or white. This way, you can see when the butter has browned enough. You don't want it to burn.
The brandy keeps the erythritol from re-crystallising. It helps create that crispy and smooth "sugar" crust. If you omit it, the sweetener mixture becomes crumbly as it cools. The recipe will still work, but the glaze won't be smooth and glossy.
You cannot taste it as it is a small amount.
I don't recommend it. Erythritol is the only keto sweetener that sets hard. If you use allulose, xylitol or Bocha Sweet, the "sugar" coating will stay soft and sticky at room temperature. For a crispy coating would have to store the candied pecans in the freezer.
No, you don't need one. Low carb sweeteners do not have a hard crack stage like sugar does. Also, erythritol has a lower melting point than sugar. All you need to do is check the mix is fully melted and golden brown. Then, take it off the heat.
Yes, pecans are very low in carbs and suitable for a keto diet. One ounce (28 grams) of pecans contain just over 1g net carbs. They are also high in nutrients and rich in fiber.
Below are some ideas how you can jazz up the flavor:
Holiday flavor. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mixture.
Most sugar free vanilla extracts are suspended in alcohol. I wonder if you could leave out the brandy, provided you add the extract at the end of cooking. It's worth an experiment.
Roast the pecans first. Either roast them in the oven for 5-7 minutes at 200C or 400F. Or, dry-roast them in a frying pan over a low heat.
Use different nuts. I suggest either walnuts or almonds. I actually made a batch of keto candied walnuts as well. See the image below:
Don't use cashews, they are much higher in carbs.
I originally used 1 cup or 100 grams of pecans. This is the amount you can see in step 4 of the instructions section. Since I still had plenty of glaze left over, I also coated 1 cup or 100 grams of walnuts.
When you compare the images, you'll notice that there is a little re-crystallization underneath the pecans, but none at all on the walnuts.
Here is the reason: I reheated the sweetener mixture for the walnuts and added additional brandy, making sure the pot was off the heat properly this time.
If you use 2 cups of pecans as described in the recipe and follow all my steps, your pecans will look even better than mine!
How to serve
Here are ideas how you can enjoy this pecan recipe:
- Solo, as a snack or pack as an edible gift
- Chop into winter salads
- As a topper for sugar free ice cream or almond milk ice cream
- Add to keto granola or sprinkle over yoghurt.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge, if you prefer. Stays fresh, crispy and crunchy for several weeks.
I have not tried this myself, but you could store the candied nuts in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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Keto Candied Pecansfrom Sugar Free Londoner
Note: The servings slider only changes the first amount in each line and not any subsequent amounts. Please make your own calculations where necessary.
- 2 cups pecan halves 200g, room temperature
- ½ cup golden erythritol 100g, or any erythritol based 1:1 sugar alternative
- 2 tablespoon butter salted, 30g
- ½ tablespoon Brandy or vodka ***
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the sweetener and turn up to a medium heat.
- Stir until the sweetener has melted fully. The mix should be bubbling and has turned a golden brown.
- Take the pot off the heat. Add the Brandy and stir. Then, add the pecans and fold through with a spoon or spatula until they are covered evenly.
- Spread the pecans out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Let cool until firm. This only takes a few minutes.