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  • Writer's pictureNikki Glekas


You know those simple recipes that give you a lot of mileage in the kitchen? This is one of them. Candied walnuts are delicious for so many reasons. They are salad toppers, appetizers, grazing table additions, cheese companions, the perfect just-right gift for friends and family, and so much more. I know you can buy them in stores if you must. But, honestly, it’s easier and less expensive to make them at home. Before you roll your eyes please watch the video – they are truly one of the simplest things to make!

This is a stovetop recipe that takes but minutes to complete. The most essential part of having it all go off without a hitch is making sure your ingredients are tightly assembled next to you by the stovetop. Then, turn on the heat and get started! High quality butter really makes a difference here. The butter adds flavor to the nuts and is critical for them toasting until aromatic, without getting burned. I always use dark brown sugar for the sweetness because it caramelizes to a pretty dark brown and tastes incredible.

As the nuts toast in the pan with the butter, sugar, and cinnamon, you’ll see the buttery syrup coating form. Be sure to keep tossing the nuts in the pan with the wooden spoon so they are completely coated. You don’t want any syrup to be left behind! Once the nuts are toasted and coated give them plenty of time to dry and harden on the baking sheet. Then, do what you want! As you’ll see here, I add them to salads a lot. I also package them in food bags or mason jars and tie them with a pretty ribbon to give as gifts. That is especially nice during the holiday when I can pair them in a basket with a good cheese and jar of honey for my friends who are entertaining their families.

I hope you all give this recipe a try soon. Once you make a batch they will last in an airtight container in the cupboard for several weeks so you have them for the whole season. Enjoy!

Candied Walnuts

This is the best recipe to know because you can make a big batch and use them throughout the entire holiday season. You can also make these and place them in pretty bags or mason jars with a ribbon and give them as gifts!

Makes 2 cups

  • 2 cups raw walnut halves

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  • Place a saute pan over medium to high heat and add the butter.

  • Once the butter is just melted, add the brown sugar and the walnuts.

  • Toss everything together so the walnuts are evenly coated. Add in the cinnamon and toss that with the walnuts as well.

  • Toss the mixture with a spoon until the walnuts are completed coated and lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.

  • Remove the pan from the heat and spread the toasted walnuts evenly on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper to allow them to cool completely.

  • Once they have cooled and hardened, transfer the walnuts to a sealed container and store them in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month.

Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT. She is currently operating with COVID-safe procedures and is happy to discuss your event and catering needs with you. To discuss further please contact or call 203.658.8659.

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