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Caramelized Candied Walnuts with Cinnamon
Crunchy, sweet, salty and well spiced Candied Walnuts are a great anytime snack and a fabulous garnish on pies, cakes and even salads!
Cinnamon Candied Walnuts
Quick and Easy! Made with just 5 ingredients in about 15 minutes.
Depending on how to you plan to use candied walnuts you can add different spices or flavors. We always add at least a little ground cinnamon but pumpkin spice or any other warm autumnal flavors like cardamom, ginger, nutmeg or allspice all work well too.
Kick it up a notch by adding a little cayenne pepper and a little extra salt. Sweet salty heat is very yummy.
- Walnut halves or use a combination of pecans, walnuts, cashews and almonds
- Granulated sugar
- Ground cinnamon or your preferred spice combination
How to make candied walnuts:
1. First lightly toast the walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking pan with a sheet of parchment paper or a silpat mat. Spread the walnuts on the parchment and bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until slightly fragrant but not brown.
Remove from the oven and cool. Transfer the walnuts to a bowl or measuring cup.
2. Next make the caramelized sugar
Place the parchment lined baking sheet (used to toast the walnuts), two forks, the cinnamon, salt and toasted walnuts all close to the stovetop. This process moves very quickly so you’ll want to be ready.
Pour the sugar and water into a medium heavy bottom saucepan. Set over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Bring the simple syrup to a boil and cook until the color turns to a light amber. Immediately reduce the heat to low or medium-low and add the walnuts, cinnamon and salt. Cook and stir constantly until all walnuts are completely coated in the sugar mixture, the sugar darkens and just starts to smoke.
If the nuts are cooking to quickly move the pan off heat while stirring to coat the nuts.
3. Cool and store the walnuts
Immediately pour the candied walnuts onto the prepared baking sheet with parchment paper in a single layer. Use two forks to separate the walnuts and spread them out until dry. Cool completely before storing.
Once cool store walnuts in an airtight container at room temperature.
TIPS for making Candied Nuts
Sometimes sugar will crystalize on the sides of the pan as you can see in our photos above. This is fine as it does not affect the flavor or candy coating on the walnuts.
If you want to have a pastry brush and a small glass of water standing by, simply dip the brush in the water and gently push down the crystalized sugar into the pan. However, this is not necessary so don’t let it bother you. These candied walnuts will still be fantastic.
How to store Candied Walnuts
Candied walnuts are best stored in an airtight container at room temperature. If left out too long they may become sticky especially if you live in a humid environment.
Homemade Candied Nuts
Walnuts are great for coating in this cinnamon infused candy shell. However, cashews, pecans, almonds and peanuts all work well too.
You can also mix the different nuts together in one batch. Be sure to make just one recipe at a time so you don’t get the nuts stuck together in a giant mound. Haha – not fun!
Great for gifting
Make a batch or two for all your friends and family during the holidays. These candied nuts travel well and keep at room temperature for at least a week.
Wrap and seal in a pretty holiday bag. Everybody appreciates homemade treats.
How to use Candied Walnuts
There are endless ways to use candied nuts. Try adding some as a garnish on cupcakes, pies or our Applesauce Cake pictured above. They’re also great as a quick snack when you just want a little something sweet.
Try adding some candied nuts to your popcorn for a salty-sweet fix. And finally, don’t forget to throw some in your next salad. What a treat! 😁
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- 2 cups walnut halves toasted (7oz)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (170g)
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
Toast the walnuts:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
- Spread the walnuts on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, or until lightly fragrant. Baking time may vary depending on the size of the walnut halves. Don't overbake as the walnuts may turn bitter once coated.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Transfer the toasted walnuts to a measuring cup.
Make the caramelized sugar:
- Have the parchment lined baking pan used to toast the walnuts, cinnamon, salt and toasted walnuts close to the stovetop. This process moves quickly and you'll want to be ready.
- Pour the sugar and water into a medium heavy bottom saucepan. Set over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Bring the simple syrup to a boil and cook until the color is a light amber. Quickly reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cinnamon, salt and walnuts. Cook, stirring constantly, until all walnuts are completely coated, the mixture darkens and just starts to smoke. If the nuts are cooking too quickly move the pan off heat while stirring to coat the walnuts.
Cool the candied walnuts:
- Immediately pour the candied walnuts onto the prepared baking sheet. Use two forks to separate the walnuts and spread them out to dry.
- Once cool store walnuts in an airtight container at room temperature. Candied walnuts will keep for up to a week.
- Cinnamon, pumpkin spice or a combination of your favorite warm spices will all work well in this recipe
- To clean a caramel covered spoon or pan fill the pan with water and heat to boiling. Add the candy covered spoon and remove from the heat. Allow the pan and spoon to rest until all candy melts away.
- Store candied nuts in an airtight container. If left in a humid environment the nuts may become sticky over time.
Spiced Candied Walnuts Recipe
Everybody loves these toasted walnuts covered in a golden candy shell with hints of cinnamon. These walnuts are delightful eaten out of hand or used as a garnish on cupcakes, cakes, pies or even salads.
These would be a great addition on our Butternut Squash Casserole, too.
Super easy recipe to make
Making candied nuts is so much easier than you’d think. All you need is 5 ingredients and about 15 minutes.
Candied nuts have been around for ages. Burnt Sugar Almonds is one of our favorite traditional German recipes. These delicious cinnamon sugar coated almonds are like the ones you’ll find in a Christkindlmarkt around the holidays.