Easy Candied Nuts
Candying has a reputation for being difficult, but it doesn’t need to be. All it means to candy something is to coat and saturate a food in a sugar syrup that hardens when it cools, creating a candy coating that you crunch through. These candied walnuts don’t require a thermometer or a copper pan. They are easy, take only three ingredients and just a few minutes to make.
Three Ingredient Candied Nuts
Those three ingredients are the nuts, some butter and sugar. Here, I’m using walnuts, but this same recipe could be used for any variety of nuts that you like – pecans, hazelnuts or almonds. Above, I’m just making a small batch of candied walnuts to top some Star Bread, but the recipe below is scalable to give you quantities for as many nuts as you’d like.
How Long to Cook Candied Nuts
First, use the right pan for the job. A non-stick skillet will definitely save you from difficult scrubbing later on. Then, just melt the butter, allowing the water in the butter to evaporate, add the sugar and cook until the sugar starts ever so slightly to brown. Add the nuts and toss them around as the sugar darkens. The nuts will toast a little and absorb the sugar. As the sugar starts to brown, the color will darken exponentially, so keep stirring the nuts at that stage. Overall, the whole process takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
How to Cool Candied Nuts
As soon as the nuts have reached a desirable color (the darker they are, the more bitter the candy will taste), turn them out onto some parchment paper and immediately separate the nuts with a wooden spoon or spatula so that they don’t stick together as they cool. They will harden up very quickly. If the nuts are greasy when they have cooled, rub them with a little paper towel to remove any grease.
How to Use Candied Walnuts
These nuts are a delicious topping for baked goods like Star Bread or Cinnamon Rolls, but can also be tossed into a salad for extra crunch or into a snack mix. Of course, they are pretty delicious straight out of your hand too!