Sandy Pistachios

It is very important that the nuts be warm when added to the sugar. Cold pistachios would shock the sugar and slow down the caramelizing process. Use a copper pan to caramelize the pistachios, if possible, because nuts roast more easily in copper as the whole pan stays hot.

Ingredients Metric US Volume
Pistachios 500 g 17.6 oz 3 cups
Sugar, for the caramel 150 g 5.3 oz cup
Water 50 g 1.8 oz 2 tbsp + 2 tsp
cocoa butter 16 g 0.6 oz ¼ cup
Sugar, for coating 80 g 2.8 oz ½ cup


  1. Place the pistachios in a 320°F/160°C oven to warm them.
  2. Combine the sugar for the caramel and the water and bring to a boil to slowly dissolve the sugar. (The slow process allows enough time to remove any impurities with a sieve when cooking large quantities.) Once the syrup reaches 239°F/115°C, remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Add the warm nuts. Stir constantly, as this will crystallize the sugar. Once the mass is sandy (crystallized) and all the nuts are covered with the white sugar, return the pan to low heat.
  4. Continue to stir constantly. The sugar will begin to melt slowly and will caramelize around the nuts and roast them. When the sugar has melted and appears golden brown, remove the pan from the heat and add the cocoa butter to help separate the mass.
  5. Mix the cocoa butter into the nuts, then add the coating sugar and toss to coat.
  6. Empty the nuts onto a lightly oiled sheet pan or marble, or use a sheet pan covered with a Silpat, and immediately separate by hand.
  7. Once the nuts have cooled, place in a sieve and shake gently to remove any excess sugar.
  8. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Note: Normally when cooking sugar in a larger quantity, you would remove any impurities using a sieve. The small amount of sugar in this recipe, however, makes it difficult to do this.