Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

After making homemade croutons a few days ago I had a hankering for another salad topper we enjoy. Mr. Comfortable picked up a bag of dried cranberry & candied pecans a while back. We loved them. In fact I loved them not just on salads. I snacked on them until they were gone. Oops. So I made a big batch of homemade Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans. Now there’s enough for salads and snacks!

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans a 5 ingredient must make!

I suppose technically there are six ingredients. You’ll need to add a little water to the mix. I don’t count water as I always have that on hand! And I pretty much always have the other 5 ingredients in the pantry so I don’t know why I haven’t made these before!

You can save yourself a little time and buy pecan pieces. I happened to have pecan halves so I just broke up a cup and a half into pieces.

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

Next I measured out 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. I was trying to kind of copy the ingredients on the bagged variety. The preservatives and additives I left out.

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

To make the sugar melt without burning it I added about 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Then I cooked the sugar mix over medium heat stirring it to break up any little sugar lumps. I let it cook until it was bubbling madly.

Dried Cranberry & Candied PecansDried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

Then I stirred in the pecan pieces and cooked them over medium low heat for about 3 minutes. While they were cooking I stirred them frequently with a wooden spoon to coat all the pecan pieces with the sugar mixture.

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

This is my favorite part!

When they’d cooked for several minutes I poured them onto parchment paper to let them cool. This is the really great part. Some of the pecans stick to the wooden spoon. They won’t shake off. So you have to pull them off with your fingers. And since you don’t want to touch them then drop them with the rest you have to eat them. You have to! You also need to spread the pecans out so they cool faster. This means more sticking. And more eating.

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

While the pecans are cooling measure out a couple of cups of dried cranberries. I keep a big bag of them in the freezer so I had to let mine thaw for a while. But they don’t get wet as they thaw so it’s no trouble.

Then mix the dried cranberries with the candied pecans. If you’re lucky some pecans will stick even then.

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans are amazing on top of a green salad!

Just look at those crunchy pecans lightly coated in the sweet brown sugar mixture! And the dried cranberries give it a tartness that goes great with the pecans!

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans are great for snacks, too!

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

Dried Cranberry & Candied Pecans

Just 5 ingredients are needed to make this sweet, tart, crunchy salad topper/snack mix! And it even freezes well!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Combine brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a small skillet.
  2. Add water and cook over medium heat, stirring to break up any lumps of sugar.
  3. Continue to cook until sugar mixture is bubbling.
  4. Stir in pecans and cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently to coat pecans, for about 3 minutes.
  5. Pour pecans on parchment paper, spread them out with a wooden spoon, and let cool.
  6. In a large bowl toss dried cranberries with cooled candied pecans.
  7. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

This makes a big batch so you can store some in the freezer for later use.

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