Joining the Rosemary Cashews at our Thanksgiving bar, were these Spiced Candied Walnuts.
I was a little apprehensive about the fact that they are essentially fried in an inch of canola oil, but they turned out so yummy. Removing them with a slotted spoon removes quite a bit of the oil, and the sugar and spices give the walnuts a sweet-spicy crunchy coating after they cool.
Just the right amount of heat to follow the sweet, and perfect with a nice cold beverage…
I halved the recipe below and could not find walnut halves, so I used bags of walnut pieces. No problem!
Spiced Candied Walnuts
Yield: 4 cups
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
4 cups walnut halves or pieces
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1. In a small bowl, combine the peppers, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
2. Bring a pan of water to a boil. Add walnuts and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain and transfer to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
3. While the walnuts are still warm and a little wet, add confectioner’s sugar and toss until the walnuts are thoroughly coated and all of the sugar has melted.
4. In a large skillet, heat about one inch of canola oil to 350 degrees. (I did not measure temperature, just waited for the oil to get “shimmery.”)
5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the walnuts to the oil in batches, letting the foam subside before adding another batch. Fry in small batches for about 45 seconds, or until golden brown, and remove with a slotted spoon. Scatter on a rimmed, unlined baking sheet to cool just slightly.
6. Transfer the warm walnuts to another mixing bowl and toss with half of the prepared spice mixture. Add more spice to suit your taste and mix well until the walnuts are thoroughly coated. (I used all of the spice mixture.) Set aside to cool.
7. When completely cool, store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Walnuts will keep for approximately two weeks at room temperature.
Source: Adapted from Country Sampler’s Prairie Style magazine, Winter 2015, p. 128