These crunchy little devils are dangerous. They’re addictively sweet, rich, crunchy, and nutty. I made this “small batch” recipe to not only keep myself from eating two cups of candied walnuts at once, but also because walnuts are expensive and I wanted to save the rest of the bag for other non-candied purposes. Sometimes you just need a little “sprankle-sprankle” of candied goodness on your meal and not a mountain of candied walnuts with no dedicated use. A mountain is great if you’re having a party, but not for everyday purposes.
What’s in Candied Walnuts?
The super simple candy coating on these walnuts is just brown sugar, butter, and a pinch of salt. Yep, that’s it! That’s all you need to make that delectably rich toffee coating. This is a dangerous piece of knowledge, use it wisely.
You can also play around with adding some other herbs and spices to your candied walnuts. A pinch or two of cayenne pepper would be amazing with the brown sugar and butter candy coating, as would vanilla, cinnamon, or ginger.
How Do You Use Candied Walnuts?
Candied walnuts are a great topping for several things. Most recently I used the sweet and crunchy nuts to top an Autumn Kale and Apple Salad. They’re also great on top of ice cream or ice cream sundaes, yogurt or yogurt parfaits, a bowl of oatmeal, or even added to granola (after cooking). A small bowl of candied walnuts also makes a great addition to a cheese board (hello holiday entertaining!).
How Long Do Candied Walnuts Last?
As long as it takes you to eat them! Ba-dum-dum. Okay, all bad dad jokes aside, these candied walnuts will last quite a while. All nuts do go rancid eventually, but as long as you cool them completely and then store them in an air-tight container, they should be good for about a month.
Small Batch Candied Walnuts
- 1/2 Tbsp butter ($0.07)
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.08)
- 1 pinch salt ($0.01)
- 1/2 cup walnuts ($0.60)
- Add the butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt to a small non-stick skillet. Heat over medium until the butter is melted and the brown sugar is just beginning to sizzle around the edges (it should still look grainy).
- Add the walnuts (chopped or whole) and stir to coat in the brown sugar mixture. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat for 2-4 minutes, or until the brown sugar is fully melted and coating the walnuts (it should look glassy, not grainy).
- Remove the skillet from the heat immediately, as the sugar can go from melted to burning quickly. Spread the candied nuts out over a sheet of parchment paper, making sure they are in a flat layer and separated as much as possible.
- Allow the nuts to cool fully (about 10 minutes). The candy coating will fully harden as they cool.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!
How to Make Candied Walnuts – Step by Step Photos
Add 1/2 Tbsp butter, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, and a pinch of salt to a small non-stick skillet.
Heat and stir the brown sugar and butter until the butter is melted and the brown sugar is just starting to sizzle around the edges. It should kind of look like grainy lava, like in the photo above. Add a 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped or whole) and stir to coat in the brown sugar mixture. Keep cooking and stirring for 2-3 minutes more, until the brown sugar is fully melted and coating the walnuts (it should look glassy, not grainy).
Remove the skillet from the heat immediately because the brown sugar can go from melted to burning quickly. Spread the walnuts out onto a piece of parchment paper, in a single layer, trying to separate them as much as possible. Let the nuts cool completely (about 10 minutes). The candy coating will harden further as they cool.
Enjoy your crunchy candied walnuts on top of salads, yogurt, ice cream, oats, or any of your other favorite foods!