This very simple, basic recipe for candied nuts can become a snack or a topping for a salad in less time than it would take you to drive to the store to buy them. You can substitute pecans, hazelnuts, even peanuts. I call for a pinch of cayenne, which technically is about ⅛ teaspoon, but feel free to add a bit more if you like spicy.
Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
In a medium nonstick sauté pan, combine the butter, sugar, and cayenne and cook over high heat until the butter and sugar have melted, about 3 minutes. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring constantly, until the nuts are coated and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the nuts immediately to the prepared baking sheet. Using two forks, quickly separate the nuts. Let cool at room temperature until hardened, about 10 minutes. The candied walnuts will keep, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 1 week.
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