My mom has been making these candied walnuts (or “sugared walnuts”) for years. Whenever she has a dinner party she tosses them on salad (they’re perfect on a fresh salad with sliced pear, figs, dried cranberries, and a tangy vinaigrette). And every single time mom serves this salad at least one person comments about how amazing the walnuts are.
Last Thanksgiving I gave candied walnuts a try. I failed, miserably. I put them in the toaster and it was one big mess of burned sugar and wasted walnuts (which I had to throw away—and they’re not cheap!) So I vowed to bring my mom over to teach me how to make her famous candied walnuts. As it turns out, it’s ridiculously easy.
It’s a delicate art, as sugar can burn so quickly, but it’s just two ingredients tossed in a pan, and voila! You’ve got sweet, crunchy, protein-packed gold that will spice up any fall dish. Enjoy!
- ½ cup of raw walnuts
- 1/8 cup of sugar
- In a cast iron pan over medium heat, add walnuts and sugar. Stir consistently until sugar begins to clump together.
- As soon as the sugar begins to melt and form a liquid, turn off heat and immediately transfer sugar crusted walnuts to a dish and allow to cool. Sugar burns very easily so keep a close watch. Walnuts should be caked with sugar, but there will also be little clumps of sugar separate from the walnuts—that's ok!
- There is a very fine line between perfectly sugar-coated and burned—if in doubt, take it off the flame sooner rather than later!
I love putting these candied walnuts on top of sweet potato dishes like our delicious fall-themed Stuffed Sweet Potato (pictured below).