Easy Candied Walnuts Recipe
A wonderfully sweet and salty snack, Easy Candied Walnuts Recipe make a great addition to any cheese plate. Equally amazing sprinkled on salads and perfect for gift giving, you won’t believe how simple they are to make.
Originally published November 2015 and updated October 2019.
Every year, as the holiday season approaches….the spiced nut carts start popping up around town. Mainly at the outdoor shopping complexes but wherever they are, I can smell them from a mile away. I love them. I go nuts for the nuts, it reminds me of the roasted chestnut carts steaming away on the corners of New York City at Christmas time.
Let’s just take a moment, close our eyes and visualize New York during the holiday season. Even if you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting during the month of December, I think every single one of us can kind of imagine the magic that happens during that time of year.
Now I know, a lot of people avoid New York during the holidays because, let’s face it….the crowds are really unpleasant. It seems like the entire country has been bussed in to Manhattan to get a glimpse of the massive Christmas tree.
BUT…you can enjoy the city in all it’s holiday splendor without the need to stand under a strangers armpit while trying to get the perfect Instagram shot of the tree. There are other trees in the city….I promise…we’ll get to that in another post.
Right now, let’s get back to the nuts. And by nuts…I mean the Cinnamon Candied Walnuts I promised…not the nuts that pile into Rockefeller Center and shove each other around with all the holiday spirit of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
I know those very same people are around us in the ‘burbs…I see them in the parking garage at the mall as we get closer and closer to Christmas. I think if they put a spiced nut cart in the garage it would definitely help with the lack of Christmas spirit. The smell is intoxicating, cinnamon and spice wafting through the air….it’s like Buddy the Elf spreading Christmas cheer for all to hear…or smell.
Candied Walnuts are really handy to have in your back pocket….literally. You may need them to broker a deal on a parking space, to win that last pair of suede gloves or to give to a last minute dropper inner during the holiday season. You know those people that pop in without notice….they happen.
CANDIED WALNUTS RECIPE
Candied Walnuts are a super addicting snack that’s crazy easy to make from scratch. You can make your own adjustments for different variations on Candied Walnuts but this recipe calls for cinnamon and vanilla.
The cinnamon adds a subtle spice and the vanilla is lightly fragrant. It’s like a Snickerdoodle cookie but in crunchy nut form.
CANDIED WALNUT VARIATIONS
Though the ingredient list is short and sweet you can mix things up a little when adding flavor to your candied walnuts by adding any of these additions or substitutions.
- Substitute the brown sugar with 1/3 cup maple syrup for Maple Candied Walnuts
- Substitute the brown sugar with 3 tablespoons honey
- Add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper with the cinnamon for a Spicy Candied Walnut recipe
- Substitute the brown sugar and cinnamon with 1/3 cup Cinnamon Sugar for an extra punch of cinnamon flavor
HOW TO MAKE CANDIED WALNUTS
It’s super simple to candy walnuts in minutes. You only need about 5 minutes of prep time to make your nuts!
- In a large bowl, mix together the nuts, egg white, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Spread the nuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
- Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and cool completely.
- Break the nuts apart and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
We like to serve our candied walnuts with an amazing cheeseboard for the holidays or to top this crazy amazing Pear Salad! They’re also a great lunchbox snack for a little sweet treat that’s not actually candy.
You could also sprinkle them on these Green Beans for a sweet and savory side dish!
You could also make a batch of these sweet and spicy almonds to go with the walnuts AND a jar of caramel sauce for the ultimate holiday treat. They’ll think you have your act together…but really it’s all an act, at least for me anyway.
Easy Candied Walnuts
- 2 cups walnut halves and pieces
- 1 large egg white
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste I use Nielsen-Massey
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the nuts, egg white, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until well blended. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool completely. Break the nuts apart and store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.