Texas Pecan Roca

Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins

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When I moved to Florida, from Texas, there were many things I noticed that were different. I instantly missed Mexican food. I was horrified that people considered Taco Bell, Tijuana Flats and Chipotle to be the best “Mexican” food. I was surprised to look around and see more cars than trucks on the roads. And I was downright appalled when people told me that Pulled Pork was the best BBQ ever…I mean, where’s the brisket?!?! How can pork that has been shredded to death and covered in a sticky, thick, sweet BBQ sauce ever compare to the slow smoked brisket?? It can’t. It just can’t.

But something I never realized was missing? Pecan Trees. Sure we can buy pecans at the grocery store…but they are in the baking aisle prepackaged from who knows where. You never see them in big barrels, still in the shell, being sold by the pound. You never accidentally find them, with your bare feet, while walking around your neighbors yard. And you sure don’t see them being sold on the side of the road by some old guy in overalls.

So when I happened to walk into Winn Dixie last week and saw a big display saying “Texas Pecans”, I bought the last two bags. After eating half of the first bag, I used the rest to make Texas Pecan Roca. It’s like Almond Roca…but Texan. And with pecans, because they are better. πŸ˜€

Since I have mental issues, I wanted them to be individual and better than traditional Almond Roca bark. Most homemade Almond Roca is made in a giant sheet and then broken into bark. Which is great for Almond Roca, but this was Texas Pecan Roca…and it deserved a little more attention.

Sorry for the crappy iPhone photos — y’all know I suck at the step by step photos!! But I wanted to prove how easy it is to make your roca into individual candies!

You cook up the toffee. Mix in the toasted pecans. Pour it into greased mini muffin tins. Top it with a Hershey Kiss. Swirl the chocolate. Top it with some extra chopped pecans. And then let it cool.

It’s really that easy.

Yield: 36 pieces

Texas Pecan Roca

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Texas Pecan Roca is a sweet toffee candy recipe, made with pecans and Hershey Kisses. If you're an almond roca fan, you'll love this Texas-style pecan roca too!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans, divided
  • 36 Hershey Kisses, unwrapped

Instructions

  1. Grease metal mini muffin baking tins with a non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a non-stick medium saucepan, mix together butter, sugar, water, and molasses and bring mixture to a slow boil using a wooden or silicone spoon. Do not use a whisk, over stirring will ruin the toffee and make it seperate. Attach candy thermometer and continue cooking until the thermometer reaches 295 degrees, stirring occasionally to prevent burning/sticking. Slow and steady will win this race. I kept my stove at medium-low heat, with a steady slow boil, and it took me 20 minutes. If you try turning up the heat, to speed it up, it will burn before it reaches the correct temperature. So be patient, it’s worth the wait.
  3. As soon as you reach 295 degrees, remove pan from heat and set on a hot pad. Stir in 1 cup of the pecans. Using a metal spoon, work quickly and carefully to fill each mini muffin tin 1/2 way full.
  4. Once all tins are full, place one kiss on top of each candy. Wait a few minutes to let the heat melt the chocolate, and then using a mini spatula, or your finger, swirl melted chocolate to edges of candy. Sprinkle the remaining pecans along the tops of each and gently press into melted chocolate.
  5. Let candies cool/harden overnight, or speed up the cooling time by popping them in the fridge. Use a toothpick to help pop the candies out of the tins. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Notes

TNCB

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

36

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 75Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 4mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g

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Comments

40 Responses
  1. Jeanette

    I just found your blog and I’m loving it! Especially this post! As a Texan who is now living in Montana, I SO miss my Mexican food- really Mexican culture in general. And brisket, and heat and the twang and warm, friendly people who smile and say hi when you pass on the street. I can count on one hand the # of times I have found brisket in the grocery store or even skirt steaks since moving, lol! And if one more person mispronounces pecan as “pee-CAN” Ughh!!

  2. Kat

    I moved in the opposite direction … after living in Florida for 40 years, I moved to San Antonio 6 years ago. I found out what I’d been missing all these years in terms of “authentic” Mexican/Tex-Mex food, and I agree — nothing compares to brisket! Although, I must say that I still love my Sonny’s BBQ sauce and stock up whenever I am in Jacksonville visiting my mother.

    As Andi Houston indicated, pecans are indigenous to Southern Georgia/northern Florida (all over the southern U.S. actually — http://uspecans.org/grown.php), though the peaches, Vidalias, sunshine, oranges, and the Mouse get more airtime.

    I lived a sad life for 44 years because I was unaware of the existence of “Roca”. Once I experienced it, from Ross of all places!, I couldn’t get enough. During this past Christmas clearance, I hoarded some Mocha, Dark, Almond, and Cashew versions. Desperate for other flavors, I went to the website for Brown & Haley. I discovered that while they do have a macadamia version (must acquire!), they do not have pistachio (my go-to nut for baklava). Worse, they don’t have PECAN!

    As with most things I want but can’t find, I went on an online search-and-destroy mission and discovered both a recipe for pistachio roca and your pecan option! I can’t wait to try them both at home! I will be trying them with dark chocolate, however, as did Nuclearnana.

    Thank you for this and I hope you’re enjoying Florida otherwise! πŸ™‚

  3. Edie

    My toffee took forever to get to the 295 degree mark. I was scared to go too quickly because I didn’t want it to burn. I believe it may have taken close to 45 minutes to get to temp, while I bumped up the stove slightly several times. Once it reached temp and I stirred in the pecans it appeared to seperate. I had an oily bit of a mess. I did continue to fill the cups and pour off the oil. They taste good, but I am wondering if you have any tips on what I did wrong. Thanks!

  4. anais

    I tried making it twice, I burned it. I used low heat, before it reaches 300 degrees it turned into dark chocolate color and the taste was bitter. I am using a clip thermometer, could it be that my thermometer id not accurate?

    1. Jessica

      Hmm. I wonder if something is off with your thermometer? The 300Β°F cook temp is standard with all roca candy, so I can’t imagine why it would be burning. I think I would definitely be trying a new thermometer!

  5. NuclearNana

    I too am a Texan living out of state. Out here in Calif. there are lots of kinds of nuts. They grow pistachios, walnuts and almonds. Pecans, not so much. It is often difficult to find decent tasting pecans at the store. I make this toffee with any kind of nut but prefer pecans, of course. I make it often enough I no longer use a candy thermometer. I can tell by looking if it is ready but I never once thought to put it into muffin tins. I definitely will try this. I usually sprinkle nuts in the bottom of the pan instead of stirring them in the toffee mixture but may try it this way. Thanks for the inspiration. I also prefer it with dark chocolate instead of milk but that is just me.

  6. Megan {Country Cleaver}

    I just made my first butter toffee last night – and about fell my ass over. Now to add pecans and a Hershey kiss to it!!

  7. Andi Houston

    Where are you in Florida? I’m in Gainesville and pecans are grown all over this area. I’ve been buying a pound a week at the farmer’s market for a couple of months now and doing some crazy pecan baking and cooking.

    It’s kind of ironic that bbq is usually pork around here because Florida is one of the states with the most beef cattle. Cows are freaking everywhere, and Florida cowboys settled the entire center of the state to expand grazing areas.

    Welcome to Florida!

  8. Rachael

    Made these last night and as I have a well substantiated fear of candy making I was very excited that these turned out! Its a rare thing to find an easy and super delicious recipe that actually looks like the pictures when I’m finished with it. Thanks!

    1. Jessica

      I am so glad you made these and they turned out perfect! I made them twice, but it’s always good to know others had the same results! πŸ˜€

  9. The Teacher Cooks

    I grew up selling pecans after Thanksgiving for my Christmas gifts! I am making this recipe. I am no candy maker, but when you include a themometer I can do it. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  10. Kayla @ Sheriff of the Kitchen

    I love the individualized sizes, I call it portion control. Plus I don’t feel so bad when I eat 1 or 4. I have never had this dessert but its got all the good things in life, guess I’ll have to check it out.

  11. Catering Supplies

    Oh great this looks like exactly what I have been searching for Christmas. Thank you and great blog.

  12. shelly (cookies and cups)

    I am always scared to bust out the candy thermometer, but ithinkican ithinkican ithinkican.
    These are so worth it.

  13. Joanne

    I feel you on the brisket. When I still I ate meat, it was totally my go-to order at a BBQ place!

    i don’t think I’ve ever seen really good texas pecans here but that’s not going to stop me from making these!

  14. DeniseInArk

    Mmmm. These are definitely going on my Christmas candy list. And since you are from Texas, I’m also glad to know that they contain pee-CAHNS, not PEE-cans LOL.

  15. Ashley M.

    Gotta try these! I just collected pecans this mornin from our yard. Never thought about other states not having the luxury of Pecan trees being EVERYWHERE. I shall take more pride in them from now on πŸ˜‰
    – Ashley M., South East Texas

  16. Suzanne

    These look delicious, and EASY! We are living in the Austin area but will be moving to South Carolina in spring 2012. While I won’t miss the grinding heat, i will miss the amazing BBQ (smoked brisket and ribs).

    Now I will have to get used to Carolina BBQ which seems to have WAY TOO MUCH vinegar in it for me.

  17. Cassie @ bake your day

    YOU are amazing. I miss pecan trees too. My grandparents always had one when we were growing up. Cracking them was a pain but they are so worth the effort. These sound (and look) heavenly!

  18. Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl

    These look wonderful–pecans are absolutely my favorite nut, and I just LOVE how you made these in mini-muffin tins! So perfect!

  19. naomi

    Hmm. . . I might have to arm wrestle you as to whether or not Texas Pecan Roca is better than Almond Roca. Kidding. I love pecans more than almonds, so I’m quite certain these beat out Almond Roca!

  20. Whitney

    I understand the sentiments. I moved from Texas to Maryland last year. Oh my. The closest Mexican joint is 1/2 an hour away and serves pre-packaged chips with lame salsa. Fail. There is no Blue Bell. And pork is not bbq. Beef is where it is at!

    (your candies look scrumptious, btw).

  21. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    candy thermometers and I don’t usually get along very well but I may have to break my rule for this stuff!

  22. Julie @ Table for Two

    Yum!!! I love roca!! Toffee is my favorite — I love putting toffee on ice cream and in my coffee. This looks great πŸ™‚

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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