Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A nutty treat!

Candied walnut nuts are a favorite of my family and friends. They are often used on salads as a topping to add to the variety of flavors. Candied nuts are also delicious on their own, and can even be used in cookies and cakes. When placed in a nice bag with a ribbon, they make a great edible gift. This technique can be done with any nut you have on hand. I have used candied pine nuts, almonds, and pecans in past dishes.

The basis of this recipe is to create a caramel by melting and heating sugar,which will darken due to the Maillard reaction. The caramel while still hot is used to coat the nut of your choice.

Toasting walnuts

Candied Walnuts

  • 3 cups walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • salt to taste

Directions

Heat sugar and water until boiling and do not stir. Slowly the mixture will start to turn brown around the edges. When this happens, swirl the pan or stir slightly for even browning. After the mixture has turned completely brown, turn off heat. Add vanilla and salt. Stir in toasted walnuts. Let cool on lined sheet pan. Then break apart.

Stages of caramelization

Tip- Melted sugar is VERY HOT and sticky. Be very careful, as it will easily stick to you and leave a nasty burn. Never touch cooking sugar until it cools down. This is a basic caramel and it can go from done to burnt in a few short seconds. So keep a close eye on it and don't leave the stove.



1 comment:

Kelly Allen said...
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