Caramelized walnuts

I am the kind of person who picks the caramelized walnuts and bits of cheese out of her salad at fancy restaurants, only to be left with a bowl full of plain spinach wondering why bad things happen to good people. Candied walnuts usually appear as a garnish in salads or the occasional Chinese dish, but rarely are they served on their own (except maybe at Christmas). I have no shame in admitting that sometimes I don’t want to have to plow through a bowl of vegetables or prawns in order to eat candied walnuts. They’re quite good as is.

This recipe takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. I’ve found you can’t really go too wrong in making these walnuts (at least I’ve found the recipe quite consistent). But beware, I wouldn’t make too many because these really fit the Pringle adage, “once you pop the fun don’t stop”. Or maybe I just have no self control.


  • 2 cups walnut halves
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, light or dark
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt (~1/8 tsp)


  1. Toast walnuts for 5 minutes in the oven at 350 F. Be careful and don’t let them burn.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Heat until just starting to caramelize and bubble. Remove sugar from heat, add walnuts, and stir until the they are evenly coated.
  3. Pour the candied walnuts onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, separating the large clumps into smaller pieces.
  4. Wait until cool before eating.


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