Brown Sugar and Thyme Roasted Pecans

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Brown Sugar and Thyme Pecans

Brown Sugar and Thyme Pecans

It’s funny how certain smells work their way into your subconscious where they develop into permanent little memory bombs.

For me, this time of year, I crave the scent of Nuts 4 Nuts.
Nuts 4 Nuts = Christmastime in NYC.

For those unfamiliar with this New York institution, Nuts 4 Nuts are street carts that sell honey roasted nuts – peanuts, cashews, and almonds. The thing about Nuts 4 Nuts though is, sadly, they always smell better than they taste.

This year I decided to end the cycle of disappointment once and for all and make my own. I started out with a typical recipe for sugared pecans amped it up with brown sugar, cinnamon, thyme, and a touch of sea salt.

Total win. I could not stop eating these. Throw some over a spinach salad with blue cheese and pears for a gourmet treat, or just munch by the handful.

Best of all, the recipe is versatile. Experiment with your own custom mix of spices and nuts. Chai spiced almonds? Sure. Five spice Cashews? Go nuts.

These Brown Sugar and Thyme Pecans are killer though. Make a big batch. They’ll go quick. Also these sugared nuts would make for a super easy, super delicious homemade gift.

sugared pecans

Nuts 4 Nuts got nothing on me

Brown Sugar and Thyme Roasted Pecans

Crunchy oven-roasted sugared pecans coated in a heavenly combination of brown sugar, cinnamon, and thyme, with just a touch of sea salt. Throw some over a spinach salad with blue cheese and pears for a gourmet treat, or eat by the handful.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 4 cups


1 egg white
4 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil and grease with butter.
  2. Whip the egg white in a large mixing bowl until soft peaks form. Fold in the pecans to coat evenly.
  3. Combine the sugar, thyme, cinnamon, and salt in a Tupperware with a lid or Ziploc bag; shake until everything is mixed evenly, breaking up any clumps of sugar. Dust the pecans evenly with the sugar mixture. Spread the nuts over the prepared pan.
  4. Bake until toasted and fragrant, stirring every 15 minutes, about 1 hour. Cool on pan, and store in an airtight container.

Print Recipe

6 Responses to “Brown Sugar and Thyme Roasted Pecans”

  1. Mmm – perfect! What a great gift!

  2. Silvi says:

    It’s true! How the heck do Nuts 4 Nuts make their nuts smell so damned good? Maybe caramelizing sugar has something to do with it? They are high up there on the world’s list of seductive scents, especially after trudging through Manhattan for a day.

    I find your recipe fascinating. I have never made candied nuts in the oven or with egg whites! I just roast them in a big pot while stirring, and then coat them with sugar at the end. It takes far less than an hour to make them this way as well. Do the egg whites give them a certain texture?


    • Stephanie says:

      Hi Silvi,

      I know, right?! The scent is just intoxicating.
      As for the egg whites, they give that nice crumbly crust on the nuts and also help the sugar, spices, and thyme to adhere.
      As for the long cooking time, it actually goes by pretty quickly b/c you don’t have to stand by the stove and babysit them. Just stick ‘em in, set your timer and go watch some TV.

      Happy Holidays!

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