I have a quick little Friday tutorial for ya today. Candied nuts are a fantastic addition to savory dishes like salads, and desserts, like piled on a cheesecake or ice cream sundae. There are lots of ways to candy, or caramelize nuts. One of my favorite versions is found in this old blog post. That method involves melting butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup and then baking your nuts in the oven or in a pan. It creates an amazing toasted nut with a sweet, buttery, caramel-y coating. This method is much simpler, with just 2 ingredients, and it takes less than 5 minutes to finish! It’s a great method to use when you need them quick and light, or simply just want to make a few.
I’m using peanuts because these are part of a dish I’ll be posting in the next few weeks. Just place your nuts and a little granulated sugar in a saute pan and turn the heat to medium.
It’s okay if the sugar starts to clump a bit. As the heat increases, it will melt the sugar and turn it into a liquid. Use a rubber spatula to constantly stir, coating your nuts in the caramelized sugar.
Since it just takes a minute or two for the sugar to caramelize, if you’re not already using a nut like a peanut, that is already roasted, you may want to pre-toast your nuts in the pan until they are just barely golden brown and then add the sugar. That way the sugar doesn’t finish cooking before the nuts are toasted. The sugar can go from beautifully golden to burned and black quite quickly, so keep an eye on them and take them off the heat as soon as that deep brown color is seen. Then spread the hot nuts out onto a silicone baking sheet, or parchment paper, and let them dry until completely cool. Break apart and toss in a salad, on a dessert, or in your mouth.
- 1/2 cup nuts
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Place nuts and sugar in a saute pan on medium heat. Use a rubber spatula to toss the nuts frequently until sugar melts and caramelizes into a golden brown color. Remove nuts from pan and spread out onto a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Cool completely before serving.
- You may want to toast certain varieties of nuts first and then add the sugar to caramelize. Pre-roasted nuts like peanuts (pictured) and cashews, don't need toasting.