Drunken Pecans

Donna Graffagnino


Whether you plan on making these for Holiday gift giving or as a party appetizer, make more than you need because you cannot eat just one.

Just about any kind of nuts can be used in this recipe like walnuts and almonds. All of the liquor cooks out but the alcohol leaves a delicious flavor, so don't be afraid to use it.


★★★★★ 1 vote

5 Min
20 Min
Stove Top


  • 2 lb
    pecan halves
  • 2 c
    brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp
    ground cinnamon (if using amaretto)
  • 1 c
    karo syrup or pure maple syrup (dark or light karo)
  • 8 Tbsp
    bourbon or amaretto
  • 2 tsp
    vanilla extract (or almond if using amaretto)

How to Make Drunken Pecans


  1. Whisk together maple or Karo syrup and 1 cup of your brown sugar and cinnamon in a large sauce pan. Add the bourbon or Amaretto and the vanilla or almond extract. The alcohol will cook out and just leave the flavor.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Add the pecans or whatever kind of nuts you prefer.
  3. Keep stirring over med heat until the pecans are coated in the sugar mixture.
  4. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until the liquid becomes thick and starts to solidify on your spoon. It needs to reach a high enough temperature for the sugar mixture to harden when cooled. (at least 240 degrees on candy thermometer)
  5. Remove from heat and add the remaining cup of brown sugar to the pan, quickly toss until all the nuts are coated with the sugar. Pour out on a sprayed, foil lined cookie sheet to cool and break apart any big pieces that are clumped together.
  6. Once they are cool they will be hard and crunchy.

    Technically they will keep for a few weeks in a sealed container, but they're usually gone in a few hours.

Printable Recipe Card

About Drunken Pecans

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