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Cooking Through Fiction: Cinnamon-Sugar Candied Pecans

One thing I love to see while traveling down back roads on my way to somewhere new is a hand-painted, side-of-the-road sign advertising some tasty treat around the next bend. Boiled peanuts! Peaches! Honey! (Okay, these signs are all in Georgia because so is Lost Lake!) But who doesn’t love those signs? Who isn’t tempted to stop?

While driving toward Lost Lake, Kate and her daughter pass an army of hand-painted roadside signs that promise fresh fruits and candied nuts. They’ve been salivating for miles, waiting to see these homemade treats. Finally, just as promised, the stand appears. I’m pretty sure Kate and her daughter finished the bag of cinnamon pecans before they could climb back into the car. They’re that good. Trust me. Like potato chips—you can’t have just one. Or two. Or one handful. Or two handfuls. Poof! They’re gone.

“The roadside stand ahead on the highway had been promising fresh fruit, peach cider, and cinnamon pecans for miles. They had passed at least six signs for the stand, each hand-lettered and littered with exclamation points.” (Addison Allen, Sarah. Lost Lake. St. Martin’s Press: New York, 44)

Cinnamon-Sugar Candied Pecans

Serves: 1 lb of candied pecans

Difficulty Level: As easy as eating 1 lb of candied pecans


1 c sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon (I used Saigon cinnamon)

1 tsp salt

2 egg whites

2 tbsp water

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 pound pecan halves

How to Make

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the pecans. Mix ingredients together with a spatula.

  3. Drop in pecans and mix thoroughly, making sure to coat all pecans.

  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pecans from the mixture, and drop them onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 1 hour, stirring them every 15 minutes.

  5. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. The pecans can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Note: This recipe can be made with a variety of nuts, not just pecans. Feel free to use walnuts, almonds, pecans, or a mix of your favorites.

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