There are a few recipes that I need to cook more of than I need, because I’ll end up snacking on half of it before it makes it to the table. This is one of them. These walnuts are simple, but amazingly addictive. They’re just spicy enough to be interesting, but the sweetness balances it out. Put them on a cheeseboard and watch them disappear, or add them to a salad (spring greens, goat cheese, pomegranate, grapefruit, nice balsamic vinegar, and these walnuts make an incredible salad).
They’re also awesome when you incorporate them into other dishes. Stay tuned for next week’s post: mini peppers stuffed with goat cheese and topped with blueberries and these candied walnuts.
Note: you can make these with less water (or none), but I prefer it this way; it takes a little longer, but I find that it gives the finished walnuts a more pleasantly tender texture.
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅛ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (adjust to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups walnuts
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put the 1/4 cup of sugar and the 1/8 cup of water into a medium-sized pan and cook over medium heat until the sugar melts. Simmer for a couple minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, and stir in the 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Add the 2 cups of walnuts to the pan and toss or stir to coat evenly.
- Pour the walnuts onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the syrup is a rich golden-brown, tossing or stirring every few minutes to ensure an even coating of syrup on the walnuts. It should take 15-20 minutes total until the walnuts are done.
- Allow the walnuts to cool and harden, then break apart. Enjoy!