Spiced Pecans

The tasty results are well worth 10 minutes with a cast-iron skillet for the recipe below. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, a heavy nonstick pan will produce good results, and make cleanup easy as well. You can also tailor the amount of sugar and spice to suit your palate. For accompanying sweetened cocktails, using more sugar will provide better balance. For nuts to be enjoyed with fine whiskeys and brandies neat, I might omit the cayenne pepper and cut back on the sugar by a tablespoon or two.
By / Photography By David Katz | December 01, 2012


Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper,and set it aside.

Heat a cast-iron skillet or heavy nonstick pan over a medium burner. While the pan is heating, mix together the spices and sugar in a small bowl. When the pan is hot, add the pecan halves and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the pecans are lightly toasted and aromatic. Add the butter and stir to coat the nuts completely. Add the spices, sugar, lemon juice and water, and stir constantly until evenly distributed.

Continue to stir until the sugar has dissolved completely and the pecans are evenly glazed. Turn the nuts out onto the baking sheet, separating them with a spoon before the sugar sets. After separating, sprinkle the nuts with additional kosher salt, to taste, and allow to cool completely.

Once cooled, store in a tightly covered container until served.

Related Stories & Recipes


  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ground orange peel
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 pound pecan halves
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60