If you’re as obsessed with texture as I am, then you’ll love every one of these incredible walnut desserts.
Walnuts are wonderfully buttery, and I just love their crazy, knobbly shape.
They have just the right amount of crunch without being overwhelming, and their flavor can be anything from tangy and bitter to mildly sweet and earthy.
Chop them up and add them to cookies or cakes, or take five minutes to caramelize them.
Although, you should be aware that caramelized walnuts are downright addictive.
Let’s try them, anyway! We deserve a treat 🙂
1. 5-Minute Candied Walnuts
Candied nuts make excellent little snacks, but they’re also great to use as cake decorations. Unfortunately, they can be difficult to make sometimes.
I’ve spent many hours mixing a huge pot full of peanuts and sugar, trying to keep them from burning.
Of course, when making them at home, you’re likely making a smaller batch than I did in a restaurant kitchen.
So, it’s as easy as adding the nuts to a pan with butter and sugar.
You’ll need to keep stirring this for about 5 minutes until the sugar dissolves, then spread them onto a lined baking sheet to set.
Try to give them room; otherwise, they might not set quite right.
2. Walnut Brownies
One thing is for sure with this recipe: it’s chock full of texture! I mean, can you see all those nuts?
Walnuts have a buttery, mild flavor, and their slight crunch will make your brownies super delicious.
Since they’re not too hard, they won’t break your teeth, so go ahead and add in a generous amount.
3. Coffee and Walnut Cake
Coffee and walnut cake is almost as synonymous to the UK as Victoria sponge.
In fact, you’ll see it in most bakeries and traditional recipe books to this day.
The cake is a wonderfully tender, walnut-filled sponge with plenty of strong coffee right in the batter.
There’s also coffee in the frosting, and in most cases, you’ll cover the whole cake and then coat it with crushed walnuts, too.
Another great option would be to leave the sides bare and add a few caramelized walnuts to the top.
4. Salted Maple And Toasted Walnut Brittle
Most brittle recipes use corn syrup to ensure the sugar stays nice and hard, and so it doesn’t fall victim to crystals as it cools.
For those looking to avoid high fructose corn syrup, this maple syrup recipe is a game-changer.
You’ll need pure maple syrup for this, not that processed pancake syrup with artificial flavorings and additives.
Probably the most essential thing here, though, is the candy thermometer.
You’ll need to know precisely when this reaches “hard crack,” otherwise, it won’t set properly.
5. Chocolate Chip Walnut Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin bread is a fall staple in my house. It’s light, sweet, spiced, and beyond scrumptious with some chocolate chips thrown in for fun.
And since it’s loaded with pumpkin puree, I’m a firm believer that it can and should be eaten for breakfast!
That is especially true if you add walnuts to the mix.
6. Applesauce Cake
Just like the above recipe is super flavorful and moist, thanks to the pumpkin, this recipe is just as delicious because it’s brimming with tangy applesauce.
This is more of a classic fruit loaf since you’ll add chopped walnuts and raisins. The crumb is a little bit dense, but it’s so tender from all the juices.
I like to soak my raisins in hot, black tea before adding them to the mix. Although, I’ll bet they’ll be even better soaked in a bit of brandy.
7. French Walnut-Caramel Tart
Pecans are slightly cheaper than walnuts, but their darker coating can make them somewhat bitter.
Walnuts, too, can have a similar astringent flavor, but I find them less so.
Of course, you could soak them in water overnight to help remove the peel if you want.
Back to the tart!
This dish is a terrific pecan pie alternative you just have to make this holiday season.
Although I adore the look of a perfectly uniform pecan pie, I can’t get over how stunning this looks with the dark caramel flavors and uneven, wobbly surface.
8. Deliciously Moist Banana Bread Recipe
Banana bread is the whole package. It’s light, soft, moist, and beyond addictive.
I love it with chocolate, cheesecake filling, or even with a crumble top. But this walnut recipe will always be my go-to.
To make the best ever banana bread, you’ll need ripe bananas. That means they should be brown and spotty, if not close to black.
That’s when they are their most flavorful.
Sour cream is another crucial ingredient to ensure this stays super moist, so please don’t leave it out.
It needs to be full-fat too. After all, now’s not the time to worry about calories.
9. Caramel Apple-Walnut Crumble
You can keep your apple pie. I’ll take this caramel apple and walnut crumble any day of the week.
The filling consists of sliced apples with brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. There’s also a generous drizzle of caramel for good measure.
Unusually, this crumble topping includes chopped walnuts along with flour, brown sugar, and butter.
As it bakes, the nuts will toast and turn golden as the caramel bubbles up and turns slightly chewy around the edges.
Does it get any better than that? Top it with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream and get ready to fight for seconds.
10. The BEST Maple Walnut Blondies
Blondies are more or less thick cookies, made with all the same flavors, only they’re bigger and way chewier.
I like my blondies gooey and fudgy, like a warm brownie.
That said, just like those brownies from above, I think these are extra delicious when you add chopped nuts to the mix.
But walnuts in a blondie isn’t enough to make these the BEST! The recipe also calls for maple syrup, giving it such a unique taste.
11. German Walnut Shortbread Cookies
Shortbread is as close to perfect as a cookie get, in my humble opinion.
The simple blend of flour, sugar, and butter is clean, classic, and insanely tasty.
The texture should be firm yet crumbly, and it should melt in your mouth the second you take a bite.
During the holidays, I like to use one simple shortbread base, then add everything from dark chocolate chunks, lavender, dried fruits, and, of course, chopped nuts to make an assortment of fabulous cookies.
I highly recommend you toast the walnuts before adding them to the cookie dough.
It will help to release the natural oils and give these a boost of nutty goodness.
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