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I have been experimenting with a recipe for Caramel Coated Pecans. The problem I have been experiencing is that (I believe) the instructions are too general.

The first time I used a 'larger' sauce pan and I ended up with something that was more like a 'pecan brittle' which tasted slightly burned.

In my second attempt I used a smaller sauce pan and I ended up with a very grainy result (much of the caramel coating turned to

I suspect that instructions of "four minutes at medium high heat" are not specific enough to achieve the desired result. What I need is to know what temperature to raise the sauce too in order to get a smooth coating. (or if I am wrong, any 'other advise' would be welcome.)

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

It is odd that the original recipe didn't include a temperature, as temperature is absolutely critical in candymaking. That is probably why your results were so inconsistent, as different pans would have heated the mixture at different rates. I would shoot for a temperature of 240-250F (Hard ball stage) as that should be thick enough to coat the nuts and allow them to finish caramelizing in the oven.

To avoid getting the pecan brittle again, avoid excess of the coating mixture on the pan and be sure to keep the nuts moving frequently during the bake.

Here are a couple of recipes that show a similar temperature range:

Candied Orange Walnuts

Brown Sugar Walnuts

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Finally had a chance to test your answer and it worked PERFECTLY! – Cos Callis Sep 16 '13 at 5:47

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