Desserts

Candied Walnuts

Another post based on an excess of ingredients in the pantry, freezer

 The progression of walnut usage in Tiffanie’s kitchen – starting with the large 3 lb bag from Costco. 

  1. Obsession with finding the perfect chocolate chip recipe (with and without walnuts)
  2. Remake and taste recipe many, many more times to ensure perfection 

Walnut level – ¼ full or for the pessimists out there, we’ll go with ¾ empty. 

  1. Boredom kicks in and the walnut bag is cast to the back of the pantry to be forgotten for 2 years
  2. Cookie obsession perks up again and Tiffanie finds out that yes, nuts actually expire and expire nuts do not taste good in cookies.
  3. Feeding frenzy commences for the fat squirrels and seagulls off of San Onofre lookout point.
  4. One horrible day when Tiffanie decides to work out, she learns from Rachel Ray that nuts can be stored in the freezer to keep the oils from spoiling. Next day? One new large bag of walnuts come back into Tiffanie’s kitchen – but in the freezer this time!
  5. Cookie obsession still remains dormant but candied walnuts are a quick way to use up those nuts (not to mention a scrumptious and easy sweet treat to munch on or in salads!)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

Directions

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Use middle rack in oven. Lay walnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 5 minutes. Test for doneness. If not quite toasted enough, toast for 1 or 2 more minutes. Be careful not to burn. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on a rack.

2 Pour sugar into a medium saucepan with a thick bottom. Have walnuts nearby, ready to quickly add to the pan at the right time. Cook sugar on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon as soon as the sugar begins to melt. Keep stirring until all the sugar has melted and the color is a medium amber. As soon as sugar is melted and the color is a medium amber, add the walnuts to the pan, quickly stirring and coating each piece with the sugar mixture.

3 As soon as the walnuts are coated with the sugar mixture, spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet, lined either with a Silpat non-stick mat, or parchment paper. Use two forks to separate the walnuts from each other, working very quickly. Sprinkle the nuts with the salt. Let cool completely.

Makes 1 1/2 cups.

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