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Candied Walnuts

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Candied walnuts are a sugary treat made by coating walnut pieces in sugar and deep-frying. Enjoy them as a snack, or toss them in salads or stir-fries for extra flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups walnut halves or large walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Oil for deep-frying, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, black or white, toasted or untoasted, optional

Preparation:

1. Have ready a mesh strainer for scooping up the walnuts, a colander for draining the walnuts, the sugar in small bowl, and a bowl to place the walnuts after draining.
2. In a large saucepan or wok, bring the water to a rolling boil. Add the walnuts. Return to a boil and boil for at least 5 minutes.
3. Remove the walnuts with the mesh strainer, quickly drain in a colander, and place in a large bowl. Immediately stir in the sugar and keep stirring until it has dissolved as much as possible.
4. In a wok, bring peanut or vegetable oil for deep-frying to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 177 degrees Celsius). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Have the sesame seeds ready in a small bowl if you are using them.
5. Add a few walnuts into the oil at first – (this is because the oil may start foaming when the sugar first meets the hot oil). Once the foaming has stopped, carefully lower 1 cup of the walnuts into the oil in a mesh strainer. Turn the walnuts out and deep-fry for 1 – 1 1/2 minutes, until they turn golden brown, taking care not to burn them. (Note: To avoid accidentally burning the walnuts, try deep-frying just a few at first, to get a better idea of the exact amount of time needed to brown them. If you’re still having problems and the nuts are cooking too quickly, you can lower the temperature to between 325 and 330 degrees Fahrenheit – approximately 163 to 166 degrees Celsius).
6. Use the mesh strainer to scoop up and remove the walnuts and turn out onto the aluminum foil. Use a fork to separate the walnuts if needed. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the walnuts if using. Cool. Store the walnuts in a sealed container. (They can also be made ahead and frozen for up to 3 months).

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