Friday, September 2, 2011

Candied Maple Walnuts

This is a recipe that my mom taught me that she adapted from... somewhere else I'm assuming. Magazine? Cookbook? No idea. But she taught it to me a couple years ago because she thought I needed a thing I could always whip up for parties or give as little gifties. So now I do just that. It is a very easy recipe, which is why I am sharing it and also why I'm a tad reluctant to share it. Because either people are faking their enthusiasm or they find these VERY YUMMY and tend to be surprised that I made them. "You made these?" they ask. "HOW?" And I hem and haw and 'oh it's a family recipe' them and eventually admit it is almost shamefully easy.

Assemble your ingredients.

1. Walnuts
2. Maple syrup
3. Cooking oil or butter

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Put walnuts in a bowl.

Pour in some maple syrup. The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons, to which I say HA.
I use a lot of maple syrup. I don't measure it, I just pour it until it looks like all the walnuts are nicely coated.
In this photo you can kind of get an idea of how MUCH syrup I use since you can see it pooling over there on the right.
Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP; you will be sorry.
I used to use butter to grease the aluminum foil, but recently I made a batch for a friend who is dairy allergic so I tried canola oil and I found it was easier to work with. So pour a little canola oil on the tin foil and swish it around with your fingers until it is coated.
Then dump the walnuts onto the cookie sheet and let the excess maple syrup drip onto them.

Bake at 300 for 20-25 minutes, or until they look kind of like this:

Scoop the walnuts into a bowl and let them cool. You can let them cool on the cookie sheet if you want, but then you'll have to pry them off the aluminum foil and sometimes they get really stuck.
PSA: The maple syrup rinses off the aluminum foil really easily with a little soapy water, so when you're done with it you can toss it in the recycle bin.

After the walnuts cool you can package them up nicely and give them as gifts! Or eat them!
I've also successfully used this recipe with cashews (because KC doesn't like walnuts), so presumably it works with other nut varieties.
Also, sometimes I add a pinch of salt either before or after I bake the walnuts (but I usually forget).

Ta da! Candied Maple Walnuts!