Spiced Candied Walnuts

READY IN: 30mins
YIELD: 4 cups




  • In a deep saucepan, pour oil to a depth of at least 3 inches and heat to 350 degrees F.
  • While the oil is heating, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Measure the salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and black pepper into a small bowl and mix well.
  • Holding the nuts in a sieve, dip them briefly into the boiling water, about 1 minute for large halves.
  • (Blanching removes some of the tannins and makes walnuts taste sweet).
  • Transfer to a large bowl with a little water clinging to them.
  • While the nuts are still hot and wet, add the sugar and toss well to evenly coat.
  • The sugar will melt on contact with the hot nuts.
  • Keep stirring and tossing until all the sugar has melted.
  • If bits of unmelted sugar remain on the nuts, they will not fry properly.
  • Stir the nuts again before frying.
  • Using a large slotted spoon, transfer a few nuts to the hot oil, allowing the foam to subside before adding another spoonful.
  • (Otherwise, the oil could foam over and burn you).
  • Fry in small batches until the nuts are medium brown, about 1 minute.
  • Be careful not to overcook.
  • Scatter on an unlined baking sheet to cool slightly.
  • While the nuts are still warm, transfer them to a bowl and sprinkle evenly with about half of the spice mix.
  • Toss well to distribute the spices and then taste a nut.
  • Add more spice mix, to taste, and toss well after each addition.
  • When cool, pack in an airtight jar.
  • They will keep at room temperature for at least 2 weeks.