Hot candied walnuts

December 13, 2009 at 7:44 pm (B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), Derek's faves, Dessert, Ice cream & toppings, Other)

Many years ago Katrina and Dan shared some of these nuts with us.  Derek immediately fell in love.  The recipe is originally from the book party nuts! by Sally Sampson.  We’ll probably be trying out some more of her recipes shortly.

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups raw walnut halves
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place 3/4 cup of the sugar in a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet and cook over high heat, stirring, until it turns a light caramel color, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the butter and stir until melted.  Add the nuts and stir to coat evenly with the mixture.
  3. Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet and arrange in a single layer.  Place in the oven and bake, tossing every 5 minutes, until the nuts are toasted, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and pour the hot nuts in a medium-sized bowl.  Add the salt, cumin, black pepper, cayenne, and the remaining 2 Tbs. sugar and very quickly toss the nuts to coat them evenly.
  5. Immediately transfer the nuts to another baking sheet lined with parchment paper and separate the individual nuts with a fork.  Allow to cool completely before serving.

Makes 2 cups.

These nuts are sweet, spicy, salty, and very crunchy.  They’re delicious, but dangerously addictive.

The “toss every 5 minutes” instruction seems a bit excessive, but then again, when left to my own devices I do tend to burn my nuts.

Rating: B+

Derek: A


  1. Dan Licata said,

    Yay, nuts! I’ve made the candied pecans at xmas the last couple of years (they’re more traditional than the walnuts, I think–I was making them for grandparents at the time). I also made the bbq pecans (whichever recipe looks closest to chicken wings) once; they were good but a little greasy.

  2. Honey-cardamom almonds « The captious vegetarian said,

    […] little cookbook called “Party Nuts!”  Derek always makes the same recipe out of it:  hot candied walnuts.  He wanted to make them again last night but we didn’t have enough walnuts.  Second choice […]

  3. Spicy bar nuts with rosemary « The captious vegetarian said,

    […] loves Sally Sampson’s recipe for hot candied walnuts, but they call for a ton of sugar, and they’re kind of messy to make.  So when I saw this […]

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