Head anywhere in the Southern States of America and you’ll find different pecan candy recipes, and every one of them will be a flavor explosion. You can make it sweet, salted, even spicy. If you can think of a flavor combination that might work, then the chances are there’s already a pecan candy recipe out there somewhere doing exactly that.
Sometimes, though, the recipes call for quite a lot of spare time on your end to make them perfect, and not everybody has the time to spare. But what if we told you there is a way to make fast pecan candy? Exciting, right? Well, read on below to find out exactly how to make pecan candy quickly, so you can enjoy it at home right now!
What Is Pecan Candy And Why Would You Want To Make It Quick?
Pecan candy is a delicious sweet treat (also known as praline) that can be made in several different ways but usually contains some varied combination of the following ingredients:
- Condensed milk
- Evaporated milk
- Vanilla extract
Traditionally, you’d warm up the milk and/or cream on the stove, stirring constantly, before adding sugar to thicken. Once thick, you would then have to add the butter and vanilla extract, again, still stirring. The aim is to brown the ingredients so they become a caramel or fudge-like color. Once that’s done, you can add in the pecans and stir until combined, before placing them on a buttered cooling tray. After cooling, the candy will harden, and you can then chop it up into manageable chunks to enjoy!
Sounds easy enough, right? What if we told you that the entire process can take over an hour? Some people stir their pecan candy in the pot on the stove for over 45 minutes to get it to the right brown color, and the cooling process can sometimes take just as long before the candy hardens and is ready to enjoy. And whilst the end result is delicious, not everybody has an hour and a half to dedicate to making a sweet treat – not when there’s dinner to make in the evening too.
So, people have started looking for shortcuts. Ways to create the delicious pecan candy we all know and love, but quickly. And today we’re happy to tell you we have a way of doing exactly that. We can show you how to make pecan candy in less than half the time, from cooking to cooling in the section below. That’s quite the difference compared to the hour and half long process above!
How To Make Pecan Candy In The Microwave
Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to start so you have all your ingredients ready:
- 1 cup of pecans
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 a stick of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of sugar
So really, the ingredients are all similar to the typical recipes you’ll find online. But instead of a stove and pot, you’ll need a large microwaveable bowl and a microwave to make this pecan candy. Follow this step-by- step guide below, and you’ll have delicious pecan candy in no time:
- Your first step is to combine the sugar, condensed milk, vanilla extract, and salt in the microwaveable bowl
- Stir until all these ingredients are combined
- If you’re using a pan or tray to cool, use some of your butter to butter the tray so the pecan candy doesn’t stick to it when you put it on top later
- Then place the remaining butter into the mixture
- Make sure you use a deep microwaveable bowl or else the mixture will overflow in the microwave
- Place the bowl in the microwave and heat on high for 3 minutes
- Once done, stir for around 1 minute
- Place back in the microwave for 2 minutes on high
- Stir again for another minute once done
- Place back in the microwave for a further 2 minutes, still on high
- Take out the mixture, which should now be starting to brown and look caramel-like in color
- Add your pecans to the mix
- If the color isn’t quite caramel yet, you can place back in for 1 minute at a time until you get the color you’re looking for, remembering to stir for around a minute each time
- Once out, stir for another minute to combine, and then place on your buttered tray to cool
- Leave for around 20 minutes to harden before cutting into squares and enjoying!
You see, it doesn’t have to take nearly an hour of stirring over a hot stove to create a delicious pecan candy treat. And honestly, we’re not sure you’d be able to tell the difference between pecan candy made in the microwave vs on the stove, except perhaps the stovetop candy is usually a little darker in color. Flavor-wise though, they’re pretty close! So next time you want to enjoy pecan candy quickly, why not microwave it instead?
Can You Make Pecan Candy Without Brown Sugar?
Yes! Absolutely, that’s why we didn’t specify the color of the sugar in any of the examples above. Using brown sugar will create a darker praline or pecan candy, but it won’t make much difference to the taste. Brown sugar might also help create a slightly harder, and less sweet praline candy compared to white sugar, which creates a more fudge-y, sweet candy. But really, if you’re making pecan candy at home and you don’t have any light or dark brown sugar available, there are other alternatives you can use that’ll still produce a delicious candy. Here are some examples:
- White sugar
- Coconut sugar
- Maple syrup
Obviously, switching out sugar entirely for some of the alternatives above will result in different textures and pecan candy that is a little less sweet. But this isn’t always a problem, since we told you at the start of the post today that some like to make spicy and salty pecan candy too, so you can always add different spices or extra salt in your pecan candy when using brown sugar alternatives to experiment with the flavors.
Everybody has a different way of making pecan candy, so maybe even search some more online to see if you can find different flavor combinations you want to try. But don’t forget that pecan candy doesn’t have to take you a long time to make! Stick to our microwave recipe, and you’ll have a delicious pecan candy in no time at all!