I've been making these for about 10 years now. So. Yummy. They also make great gifts!
I got this recipe on the back of a bag of Young brand pecans, but as I almost always do, I changed it just a little.
Projected prep time: Under 5 min.; Projected cook time: Under 10 min.
1/4 c. evaporated milk
1 c. sugar (this is a candy, so you'll want to use refined white sugar for best results)
Rounded 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. pecan halves
(Note, if you'd like to make sweet & spicy you can play around with 1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper added with the cinnamon. It's pretty tasty!)
Combine all ingredients except pecans in large saucepan. In these photos, I've doubled the recipe but I recommend starting with the original recipe until you've gotten the hang of how long the pecans need to cook.
Dissolve sugar over medium heat.
Add pecans and continue to cook, stirring frequently.
Cook until pecans are completely sugared with no syrup left in the pot. This will happen quickly once it really starts to cook, and you'll need to be constantly stirring at this point. You'll get a good arm workout but it's worth it! If you don't cook long enough, they will be sticky. If you cook too long, they will burn. If you cook too long but not so long they burn, you'll get very sugary crumbed pecans. I like them to be well-coated with a praline-type coating, so I stop before they get to the sugary crumb stage. Spread on wax paper to let cool.
Pack in airtight container or bags lined with wax paper after completely cooled.