spicy candied walnuts (or pecans, if you prefer)

February 13, 2012 § 3 Comments

alright. so this is actually part of a lovely salad recipe that i will post one of these days once i’ve made it with my camera in hand. in the interim, i give you spicy candied walnuts, which came straight from the kitchen of one miss @lahlo. these things can be used for anything. and after you’ve made them, you’ll want to use them for anything. and everything. they’re a wonderful salad topper, great on ice cream, for a not-so-good-for-you snack, etc. etc.

so, without further ado–
the stuff:
1 bag of walnuts (or pecans)
1 c. brown sugar
up to 1 T cayenne pepper or chili powder

1. toast the nuts in a dry pan on low heat until fragrant (if you’re in a hurry, or inclined to burn nuts, this step can be skipped)
2. add 1 c. brown sugar to a nonstick pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. add chili powder or pepper until fragrant. continue to stir constantly. as you’re cooking sugar, unless you want a whole lot of burning, this is meant literally. add a generous pinch of kosher salt.

continue stirring until the sugar goes into total meltdown. gradually add in the walnuts and stir until coated (i would add in quarters, stirring in between each new addition).

once all of the walnuts are coated, spread onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. using the back of a second cookie sheet, sprayed with nonstick spray, press the candied nuts down flat. (NB: this is one of those fun kid or childlike adult activities, as it actually works quite well to STAND on the second cookie sheet. see photo for illustration). when pressed down, sprinkle the candied nuts with salt and let sit to cool for at least 5 minutes.

when cooled, put the candied nuts in a Ziploc bag and break it up into small pieces. (also a good kid and possibly-angry grownup activity).

use for intended purpose and store remainder in the fridge for late night snacking, etc.

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