Lucky for me, I don’t know anyone with nut allergies, so this recipe is a perfect homemade gift when buying something for everyone who matters is just not in the cards. I’ve made candied nuts before in the stove top, which is a lot of work. Unlike this recipe, it doesn’t use eggs; instead, you caramelize the sugar in a pan and toss in the nuts. You have to be quick about it, because there is a fine line between caramelization and burning and nuts covered in truly burned sugar are not appealing.
The recipe used here, found, surprisingly enough, on Huffington Post, uses egg whites as a binding agent and does not require standing over a pan for half an hour or so. Much better.
Candied Mixed Nuts
- Canola oil or cooking spray
- 3 egg whites
- 1 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 cups nuts (I used a mix of pecans, almonds, and walnuts, which worked well)
Preheat oven to 300°. Spray or coat a rimmed baking sheet with oil. I often don’t have spray oil in the house, so I just pour a bit on the pan and use a paper towel to spread it.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites and 1 Tbsp. water until very frothy, about 30 seconds. Stir in sugar and salt until well combined, then add nuts and toss to coat.
Spread out mixture evenly on prepared baking sheet and bake, stirring to recoat with the sugar mixture every 5-10, until crisp, about 30-35 minutes. Give nuts one final stir to break them up, and then set aside to let cool.
These can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
1. I will be making a second batch of these in the next few weeks and am planning on a slight alteration to the recipe. Instead of using only brown sugar, I’m going to use part brown sugar and part maple sugar. It’s a really nice way to impart maple flavor without adding liquid to a recipe as would happen if using maple syrup. Maple sugar is just maple syrup boiled down until all the liquid evaporates.
2. This is a recipe where you can get creative with spices. If you like your candied nuts spicy, feel free to add cayenne pepper. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice also work well.