When I was in my early twenties, I lived in Brazil for a little over a year. While I was there, I lived with a few different Brazilian roommates, and learned all kinds of things from them.
One of the things I learned was how to make candied peanuts using just 2 ingredients….raw peanuts and sugar. The first time I saw them being made, I was in awe watching the sugar melt, then stick to the nuts.
Several years later, we were at Brave Girl Camp and needed candied pecans for lunch, but all we had were raw ones and no time to run to the store. All of a sudden I remembered what I had watched my Brazilian friends do. I didn’t 100% know what I was doing (story of my life), but thought I could at least try (the other half of the story of my life).
I put some sugar in a pan and let it melt, then added the nuts and it worked out exactly as I’d remembered with the peanuts!
I’m so excited to share this with you…mostly because I love watching the sugar melt while they’re cooking. 🙂 I hope you’ll try this – it’s so fun! (Fair warning though…melted sugar is hot. Please don’t burn yourself. This is probably also not something to have the kids help with.)
Start by spraying a cookie sheet with cooking spray (you’ll use this to spread the nuts on once they’re done on the stovetop).
Mix the sugar and nuts together in a medium-sized sauce pan.
Heat to medium and stir constantly until the sugar begins to melt…
And stick to the nuts…
Try not to be mesmerized by the melting sugar, and focus on the task at hand….the sugar will stop melting and start browning really fast. You want to remove them from the heat right when it starts to brown.
When all the sugar is melted and the nuts are nice and coated, remove from the heat and spread them out on your cookie sheet to cool.
I don’t think it actually matters how much sugar you use… if you want super sugary nuts, use a lot of sugar… I’ll tell you exactly what I used and you can decide from there how much you want to use. 🙂
1 cup pecans (or substitute any kind of nut)
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
Heat both ingredients in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar melts and sticks to the nuts. Remove from heat and spread onto greased baking sheet. Let cool (!) and serve. Enjoy!