These candied walnuts are about to become your new go-to snack. Think buttery, sweet, and irresistibly crunchy.
Imagine the perfect balance of caramelized sugar and spice hugging each walnut.
These little gems are not just for snacking, although it’s hard to resist.
They’re also great at elevating everything from salads to desserts.
And guess what? They’re a breeze to make at home.
Whether you’re after a snack, a salad topper, or a thoughtful homemade gift, candied walnuts are the way to go.
Ingredients for Candied Walnuts
Ready to make some candied walnuts? Here’s what you’ll need. You’ll find the full list with measurements at the bottom of the page.
- Walnut Halves – The main ingredient provides a perfect canvas for the sweet coating.
- Egg White – It helps bind the sugars to the walnuts.
- Granulated Sugar & Brown Sugar – These two are a duo of sweetness. The granulated sugar gives the nuts that classic candy crunch. Brown sugar adds a deep, caramel-like flavor.
- Ground Cinnamon – This adds a hint of warm spice, complementing the sweetness perfectly.
- Vanilla Extract – It adds a lovely aroma.
- Sea Salt – A pinch of sea salt balances the sweetness and brings out the flavors.
How to Make Candied Walnuts
Ready to make some candied walnuts? Let’s get cracking!
1. Prep. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
2. Mix the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, mix the sugars, cinnamon, and sea salt. This blend will give the walnuts their sweet and spicy coat.
3. Whisk the egg white and vanilla until it’s nice and foamy. Toss in the walnuts until they’re well coated.
4. Combine the walnuts and sugar mix. Stir until every walnut is evenly covered in sweet goodness.
5. Bake them to perfection. Spread the walnuts on your baking sheet in a single layer. Bake them for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until they’re golden brown.
6. Cool and enjoy: Stir the nuts one last time and let them cool on a wire rack. Break apart any big clumps. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Tips and Variations
Candied walnuts are already great, but with a few tweaks, they can be even more amazing. Here are some tips and variations to try:
- No clumps allowed! Spread them out so they don’t stick together in clumps. This ensures each walnut gets perfectly coated and crisped.
- Toast them to perfection. The walnuts should smell toasty and the sugar golden at the edges. Bake until the sugar hardens for that snappy texture.
- Give them enough chill time. Give the walnuts about 10 minutes to cool before handling. They’ll break apart more easily and have the best texture.
- Switch up the spices. If it’s good in a pie or cookie, like gingerbread or pumpkin pie spice, give it a shot.
- Try a texture twist. Add dried fruits like figs, dates, or pineapple for a chewy contrast.
- Dial down the sweetness. Reduce the brown sugar if you prefer a subtler sweetness.
- Spice them up. Add a pinch of cayenne for a spicy kick.
- Give them a kick. Mix in finely ground espresso powder for a coffee-flavored twist.
Ways to Use Candied Walnuts
Candied walnuts aren’t just for snacking. They’re versatile and can jazz up a variety of dishes. Here are some cool ways to use them:
- Level up your baked goods. Elevate your baking by adding candied walnuts to cakes, muffins, and breads. They add a delightful crunch and a burst of flavor.
- Give ice cream an upgrade. Sprinkle some on vanilla ice cream for a simple yet fancy dessert.
- Make salads sensational. Toss them into salads for a sweet and crunchy surprise.
- Jazz up a snack board. Include candied walnuts on a dessert charcuterie board for a bit of sweetness.
- Make a tasty gift. Pack candied walnuts in pretty jars or bags as a homemade gift. It’s personal, tasty, and shows you care.
How to Store
If you have leftover candied walnuts, here’s how to keep them fresh.
To Store: First, cool the walnuts completely. Then, pop them into an air-tight container. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. They’ll stay fresh for up to 1-2 weeks at room temperature.
To Refrigerate: If you opt for the fridge, they’ll last up to a month, but they might get a bit sticky. No worries, though. Warm them up in the oven at 250°F for a few minutes to get them crisp again.
To Freeze: Candied walnuts freeze well. Just ensure they’re in a tightly sealed container. They’ll keep in the freezer for a few months.
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