Thursday, February 17, 2011

Easy Candied Walnuts



One of my favorite restaurants in our area (House of Tricks) has wonderful seasonal salads that are made with a selection of fresh fruit, beautifully selected greens or vegetables, artisan cheeses, great dressings and best of all, sometimes even candied nuts. I absolutely adore candied nuts, but have always shied away from making them myself since making hot sugar syrup (which most recipes I looked at required) isn't one of my favorite kitchen adventures. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and didn't really enjoy it. So I was definitely on the hunt for a recipe that was easy enough that I could whip up a batch of candied nuts on a whim and with ingredients I always have on hand and without the danger of scorching hot sugar syrup. The recipe that I found on Foodnetwork fits the bill 100 percent.

This recipe could not be any easier and 4 ingredients is all you need. Walnuts (pecans or almonds work as well) are blanched for about 3 minutes in boiling water. By doing so it will help the rest of your ingredients "stick". The hot, wet nuts are then tossed in a mixture of powdered sugar, salt and cayenne pepper before being placed on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat (I use the latter and it works like a charm). The nuts are baked for about 15 - 20 minutes with giving them a stir every 5 minutes to ensure even browning. You will need a watchful eye to make sure they don't burn since they are coated with sugar after all, but I found the process to be much less labor intensive then traditional candied nuts.

These nuts taste wonderful! Only slightly sweet, with a little hint of spice and best of all, the sugar won't turn so hard that you are running the risk of breaking a filling. They are seriously addicting. Great served by themselves for a party or simply to snack on, they also dress up any old salad. So if you like  candied nuts, without the fuss, this is definitely the recipe for you as well. Stay tuned for my favorite fancy salad recipe which includes these little gems.



Easy Candied Walnuts 
~makes 1 cup~

Ingredients:

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ounces walnuts (about 1 heaping cup)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugar, cayenne and salt.

Bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Add the walnuts and blanch them for 3 minutes. Drain well and then immediately roll the walnuts in the sugar mixture until thoroughly coated. The sugar will melt slightly. Transfer the walnuts to a baking sheet or pan and bake, stirring occasionally, until they are a deep golden brown, about 15 - 20 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes. Watch carefully because the sugar can burn easily. Let cool completely before serving.

Adapted from: Foodnetwork 

21 comments:

  1. Oh, yum!!! These would be the perfect addition to my favorite salads...love the simple ingredients, Susi!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so immature, I actually giggled a bit when I read "Hot, wet nuts"

    I love this concept for these, though. The sweet/spicy thing sounds fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love candied nuts in salad too, and have made them a variety of ways. I've never tried blanching the nuts but I'm sure going to try this method. I love the use of powdered sugar also. These sound wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  4. YUM! I love candied nuts...essspecially in salads. My family always makes a spinach, strawberry, feta, and candied pecan salad during Thanksgiving.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love walnuts, but get tired of them quick, so this is a great way to mix it up.

    ReplyDelete
  6. These look great! I made Tamari-caramel cashews the other night for a get together! I love quick and easy snacks like these :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. this looks so super good, so many possiblities

    ReplyDelete
  8. These nuts are making me hungry, I could use a snack like these right now:) yum!

    ReplyDelete
  9. oooh yes - sounds super. Need to give these a go with pecans.... so yummy !

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have all of these ingredients at home.. hmmmm!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like this version. Plus you don't have to worry about a burn from the hot sugar. I love candied nuts on salads. Hope you are having a great week.
    -Gina-

    ReplyDelete
  12. This recipe looks like a winner. I adore candied nuts and I have a fresh bag of walnuts ready and waiting for this recipe. I'm going to have to try a batch for a weekend snack.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Joanne

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sugar syrups aren't my favorite kitchen adventure either. These candied walnuts look terrific though. I could eat them just as they are, but also know that they are liquid gold on salads. Can't wait to see the salad next :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love candied pecans in salads, but have never made them like this. I've always gone the hot sugar route. This method sounds easier- I'll try it!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Candied nuts are the best on salads Susi! I ove the spicy sweetness of these. Thanks for showing us how to bake them!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sweet and spicy...these nuts sound like they would be a hit at any and every table. Don't you love a great nut recipe? Thank you for sharing, sweet woman. You bring a smile to my face!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I saw this recipe and wondered if it was as good as the really labor intensive ones. Thank you so much for trying them out, Susi!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. They look amazing, and I am quite glad to hear I wouldn't break a tooth eating them. Walnuts are one of my favourite nuts.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow these look just wonderful. What a neat cooking method....I've never seen them done this way and it's so simple.

    I fear tossing these into a salad would create an all new addiction for me. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yum. I love candied nuts. They look absolutely fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Guess what I will be making for the children's snack today :) You're on a roll, Susi. Thanks for inspiring. Have a lovely week!

    ReplyDelete

Leave a comment and make my day

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails