Nothing spices up a meal like a candied nut treat perfect for complimenting a salad or side-dish. Candied nuts are often made of melted white sugar but there are other more natural options. Maple syrup adds a complex flavor. Purchase 100% pure, organic maple syrup when you can. The grades of maple syrup indicate the richness of color, but not the quality. A pinch of salt and spicy cayenne pepper offer an unexpected pop of flavor. Enjoy the healthy omega-3 fats in crunchy walnuts for anti-inflammatory benefits.
YIELDS 2 Cups
2 cups raw walnut halves
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. coarse Kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer.
3. Bake for 5 minutes, toasting for 1 or 2 more minutes if needed but be sure not to burn. Remove from oven and let cool.
4. In a medium saucepan, heat maple syrup until warm.
5. Add the cayenne and walnuts, quickly stirring and coating each piece with the syrup mixture.
6. When walnuts are evenly coated, place them back on the parchment lined baking sheet, spreading evenly apart with a spoon. Sprinkle walnuts with salt and cool completely before serving.