It’s can be so hard to resist the perfectly candied walnut – and this recipe does not disappoint. I was determined to make the quintessential fall meal with brined pork, roasted squash, topped with an acidic slaw. But this side dish needed something that added a depth and sweetness to balance everything out. In walks the ease of a candied walnut and the meal was set.
There are some recipes that I’ve made over and over again that I could make and talk about in my sleep (who knows – maybe I do talk about them in my sleep?). But this blog is called “Experimental” for a reason – I LOVE creating new dishes and trying new techniques. I love it even more when the recipe turns out just the way it should as these candied walnuts did.
It was fun exercising some patience and watching the sugar begin to bubble. I say patience because it looks white and bubbly and then there is a moment where you blink and instantly, that beautiful amber browning color appears – similar to browning butter (a favorite of mine).
The most important part of creating this dish is having everything ready to go before you start the sugar. Because once that sugar is ready, moving quickly to get everything encorporated before the sugar sets and you no longer stir the syrup is imperative to complete the dish.
Have the forks at the ready to separate out the syrup wrapped walnuts on the sheet pan. And bring back some more patience to refrain from eating all the nuts right away. They need to cool…and you need them for your other dishes.
The final dish epitomizes fall with roasted delicata squash, fresh and crispy fall slaw, goat cheese and candied walnuts. Thankfully there were plenty of left over walnuts for snacking – they are so good, they stand aline in their greatness.
- 1 cup walnuts, slightly chopped
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 Tbls butter
- 1 tsp chopped rosemary
- 1/8 tsp course salt
Preheat oven to 350°. Spread walnuts out on tray and roast in oven for 5-8 minutes until slightly toasted, but not browned. Remove walnuts from oven and let cool slightly.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Have the rosemary, butter, salt and nuts ready while you work with the sugar.
In a sauce pan over med-high heat, add the sugar and stir till it is reduced to liquid and amber in color. This is specific to your stove top, but you can expect this to take between 5-10 minutes.
When the sugar is ready, stir in butter until it melts. Then add the rosemary and toasted walnuts, stir until all walnuts are coated. Pour out on parchment lined sheet tray and use 2 forks to separate. Dust with salt and allow to cool before serving.
For this preparation, I chopped up the walnuts finer before serving, but these are great and can stand on their own as a great addition to any cocktail hour, charcuterie board or movie night snack.
*Recipe adaptation from Simply Recipes website – Candied Walnuts recipe.