Shop for this Recipe: Measuring Cups, Spoons, Scales | Jelly Roll Pans | Parchment Paper | Rubber, Silicone Spatulas | Wooden Spoons | Cookware | Candy Thermometers | Pastry Brushes
- 1 cup pecan halves
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- By hand, bread the pecans into ¼ inch pieces. Set aside.
- In a medium-size heavy-bottomed pan, combine sugar and water. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir gently to avoid splashing the mixture onto the sides of the pan. When the mixture begins to simmer, cover the pan tightly with a lid for 3 to 4 minutes to allow condensation to form and run down the inside of the pan to help wash away stray sugar crystals.
- Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan, increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches a temperature of 325 degrees F, a light caramel stage. While the syrup is cooking, wash away any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan by wiping upwards with a damp pastry brush so the sugar crystals don’t fall back into the syrup. Immediately remove pan from the heat and remove the candy thermometer. Let caramel set about 30 seconds to allow the bubbling to subside. Tip: Lower the heat when the temperature reaches 315 degrees to slow the cooking because at this point it will quickly reach 325 degrees. In addition, remove the pan from the heat just before the syrup reaches 325 degrees to prevent it from going over 325 degrees. F.
- Immediately pour the hot mixture over the pecans and quickly stir with a wooden spoon to coat all pecan pieces. Be careful, the sugar is extremely hot and will burn your skin if you touch it. Immediately pour mixture onto the baking sheet, spreading the mixture with the spoon as best as you can. The mixture hardens quickly so you need to work fast.
- As soon as the pecans are cool enough to handle break apart with your hands. Set aside to cool completely.