This recipe is one of my holiday favorites that everyone else seems to love as well. The original is from the “black sheep” side of Jenny Wible’s family (so says the recipe!) although I’ve modified it a bit over the years. Because of how popular they are, I always double the recipe below when I make it.
- 3c pecan halves
- 2T butter, melted
- 1/3c water
- 3/4c brown sugar
- 1T brandy
Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Spread pecans on baking sheet, dot with butter, and roast at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Turn off the oven and crack the door to keep the pecans warm. Be careful not to burn the pecans!
In a 4qt saucepan combine sugar and water on high heat. Stir with a long wooden spoon (trust me on the wooden bit) until it boils. Continue to boil to soft ball stage (about 234 degrees F). Take off heat and beat until creamy. Add alcohol and nuts and mix well until the pecans are thoroughly coated.
Spread in prepared baking pan to cool. Break apart with a fork and eat.
Tip: Keeping the pecans warm makes the sugar mixture apply evenly without forming crystals (which are perfectly edible, but not as pretty). If you’re really quick you can roast the pecans and do the sugar mixture in parallel, but I would suggest waiting until your second attempt before doing so.