A few months ago, I was making a salad that called for candied almonds (here is a link to the most recent salad I made that used candied walnuts). Since I didn’t have any at home, and was short on time, I decided to look up the recipe online and realized how ridiculously easy it was to candy any kind of nut. I believe the recipe was either this or a variation of it.
Since then I have experimented and found that you can get pretty decent results with water, brown sugar, rock salt and a pinch of cayenne. Brown sugar seems to work better than white and leaving cinnamon out makes the nuts more versatile. So here is my variation on candying any kind of nuts. The recipe is approximate but you can play with it, it is one of those that is hard to screw up.
INGREDIENTS (for a handful of nuts)
About 1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
A pinch of cayenne
About 1/2 cup of water
A handful of raw nuts – peeled or unpeeled – you pick
1. Heat all the ingredients except the nuts till the sugar, salt and cayenne are all dissolved in the water.
2. On medium heat, add the nuts into the mix and keep moving with a spatula till all the nuts are coated and the solution has evaporated. At this point, cook a little more to roast the nuts. Be careful you don’t burn the nuts and the sugar, though a little caramelization doesn’t hurt 😉
3. Cool on a parchment paper and you are done.