This recipe was provided by David L., one of our amazing extract-making pros. He reminds us that extract-making goes beyond vanilla and, like anything done in our kitchen, usually evokes memories of warm moments with family and friends.

In David's words:

I remember gathering Texas native pecans east of Fort Worth in the Trinity River bottoms when I was a kid.  My family used pecans for quite a few things such as pecan pies, munching out of hand, and throwing at my siblings.  But one thing my grandfather would make with the pecans always fascinated me.  He made a flavoring he called pecan squeezin’s.  Today we call it pecan extract.

Originally he made the squeezin’s with pecans and moonshine, but, at least for me, vodka is much easier to acquire.  His formula was simple.  He would simply fill a jar with raw pecans, cover it with the alcohol, screw on a lid, and place it on a shelf in the pantry for 6 months.  When ready, he would fill a second jar with fresh pecans and strain the liquid from the first jar over them.  He would top it off with some more alcohol, screw on a lid, and it went back into the pantry for another 6 months.  Again he would strain off the liquid into another jar.  At that point it was ready to be used. 

I haven’t changed the method he taught me.  In fact the only change I made was in switching from moonshine to 80 proof vodka.  The pecans were fresh, not toasted, and never salted.  Over the years I’ve experimented with toasting the pecans (I can’t tell any difference), and I've tried 100 proof vodka as well as Everclear.  The higher proofs made the extract too bitter for me to use. 

Therefore here is the recipe:

Papa’s Pecan Squeezin’s

1 jar with lid (any size)

enough pecan halves (raw or toasted) to fill the jar to the shoulder

enough 80 proof vodka to cover the pecans

After filling the jar with pecans and vodka, screw on the lid and place in a dark place.  After 6 months fill another jar with fresh pecan and strain the flavored vodka into the 2nd jar.  Top off with more vodka, screw on the lid, and return to the dark place for another 6 months.  Now it’s ready to strain/filter into a bottle and use.

This flavoring can be used in making pecan pies, pumpkin pies, mince pies, and piecrusts.  It’s good in cornbread, masa for tamales, bread pudding, french toast, poultry stuffing, waffles, pancakes and, well use your imagination.

I have tried it as a liqueur, but didn’t care for it straight.  I never made it with bourbon, but it may make a good flavoring for pumpkin or sweet potato pie.

Have fun!

VanillaPura Vanilla Pro
Tagged: extract pecan


I’m gonna try candied pecans with my wasted pecans.

— Glenda Kibart

I’ve been interested in making various kinds of extract and thought of the usual flavors. Then I looked at a bowl of pecans and thought – hummmm. What about pecan extract?after all there’s almond extract. So I’m excited to try this. All I have to lose is 8 oz. of vodka and a half cup of pecans.

— Linda Cooper-Smith

I’m not the OP-but had some answers for this oft repeated query.

@everyone asking about what to do with the pecans used in this recipe?
Can they be dried and eaten?
Can they be baked into a pie?

When in doubt, fish one out, and chew a small piece. You’ll know soon enough if it’s worth the effort of tucking into a pie/crumble/etc.
I would probably not try toasting them near a flame, alcohol and fats are both extremely flammable-this could end poorly.
Most material used for infusing ends up very bland after soaking in , as the terpenes and essences are captured by the alcohol/glycerite-but there might be an interesting flavor change. Only one way to find out!

— Jesse Star

I’m excited about trying this recipe. I’m thinking perhaps the pecans would loose some if it’s flavor over time since it’s going into the liquid into an extract. Yet creating a nut butter with a secondary nut like almonds with it would be phenomenal. Also, using it as a topping is an idea. Get a jar and add the discarded pecans and put it in honey , agave or maple syrup and add same vanilla bean paste. What a great ice cream or pancake topping that would be.

— L.J. Washington

I want to try this…
Wondering if I could make a “tipsy pecan butter” with the pecans after use? I am sure my husband would love it!!! Imagine using the pecan butter to make a tipsy pecan buckeye candy? I may add a vanilla bean or two as well!!! Oh my! Alice in wonderland falling in the rabbit hole! Next Christmas is going to be amazing!!!

— Tamra Riggs

Make pecan pie with the :marinayed pecans!"

— Kimberly I. Montgomery

I toasted my pecans and used Maker’s Mark bourbon. I norticed it soaked up all the bourbon and need to buy more to to it off again. I can’t wait to try it and I am going to dry the pecans and used them. In some pecan pie and maybe ice cream. Yum!!

— Kathleen Crooks

I’m wondering if you could use the pecans as a paste of some sort if you were to put them in a food processor

— Lisa

I have a jar of pecan in spiced rum. When I remove the pecans I am going to try making a pie with them. It will be a while yet but will let you know how it turns out.

— Janie Tompkins

I have been wondering the same thing, what can I do with the pecans…Any answers?

— Michelle

I also want to know what to do with the pecans that have been soaking. Does anyone know? I’m wondering if you can toast them to dry then make pralines or turtles (with caramel) I made home made turtles a few weeks ago with a caramel recipe I got from this site. I wonder what these flavored pecans would taste like. I might try it —or use some to make pecan pies. If anyone has used them for anything at all, please chime in. Thanks.

— Janice Liddell

Good evening, I would like too know, can I use brazil nuts? What is your opinion😊 Thank you.

— vivian lambert

What do you do with the pecans that have been soaking in vodka for 6 months? Can you use them in something else?

— Melinda Sindiong

I am trying it with vodka and another jar with bourbon. I’ll let you know how they turn out !!

— Deanna Dickson