Candied walnuts (or pecans)

Crunchy and dangerously addictive. Adapted from “Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans,” Bon Appétit, September 1999.

Ingredients (sweet version)

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 cups walnut or pecan pieces

Ingredients (sweet and spicy version)

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (generous) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups walnut or pecan pieces

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Combine syrup, sugar and vanilla/spices in large bowl. Stir to blend.
  3. Add nuts. Stir gently to coat. Transfer to baking sheet.
  4. Place large piece of foil on work surface. Bake pecans 10 minutes. Using fork, stir pecans to coat with melted syrup mixture. Continue baking until pecans are golden and coating bubbles, another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Transfer to foil. Separate nuts with fork while hot. Cool.
  6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Nuts can also be stored in freezer for longer-term use.

Notes

  • For sweet version, use more or less salt depending on your taste. My taste testers were split on preference – less salt emphasizes the sweet; more salt gives a bit more complexity.
  • Spicy version is very mild – a gentle lingering tingle. Double the black and cayenne peppers if you like more heat.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures: Candied walnuts = happy holidays.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment