Saturday, December 3, 2011
Spiced and Sugared Walnuts (Crockpot or Otherwise)
I always thought that toasted and sugared nuts were something street vendors sold in the olden days, until one day. I was walking through the mall with one of my roomies, just doing some Christmas shopping, and she said, "I wish we could get some toasted nuts" and I just chuckled "Yeah" and she said "No, really. Don't you always get nuts from those little booth guys in the mall during the holidays?" and I said "What? I didn't think that was real." And another false belief was destroyed.
We never did find our toasted nuts. I've tried making them before, but I often forget things under the broiler and bad, smokey things happen when you do that. Here's a forgetful-friendly recipe for crockpot spiced and sugared walnuts, but you can do them in the oven, too, if you promise not to forget about those darling walnuts.
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2 c. walnuts
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat crockpot about 15 minutes on high. Combine walnuts, sugar, butter and vanilla in crockpot. Stir until sugar is completely moistened and nuts are evenly coated. Cover and cook on high 15 minutes. Stir. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 hours, stirring each hour. Spread nuts on wax paper. Whisk together spices and sift over nuts. Allow to cool to room temperature and enjoy!
Source: Adapted from About.com's Southern Food