Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spiced Candied Walnuts

Spiced Candied Walnuts

I had a really wonderful Thanksgiving weekend (as I'm sure most people did). My sister was in town from San Francisco and we had a nice combination of relaxing and partaking in fun. We volunteered at a Thanksgiving dinner for the less fortunate in Santa Monica, we worked off calories by hiking to the Hollywood sign, and of course we ate a ton. As I tend to do, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a couple of extra recipes for our Thanksgiving feast. These walnuts became part of a bigger recipe, but they are amazing on their own. They're a little sweet, a little salty, and warmly spiced making them great for sweet or savory pairings. I'll show you how I used them in a couple of days. Here are some highlights from the weekend:

Pupusas at the Barnsdall Farmers Market
Pupusas at the Barnsdall farmers market.

Volunteering at Westside Thanks
The Civic Auditorium became the setting for a festive dinner

Volunteering at Westside Thanks
My friend Andrew showing off his "artwork".

Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Thanksgiving Centerpiece
Gorgeous centerpieces

Raul checking on turkey
Raul checking on the turkey

Pumpkin Pancake Cupcakes
Pumpkin Pancake Cupcakes

Gingersnap Cocktail
Gingersnap cocktail made with Canton (deeeelish!)

Hollywood Sign Hike

Hollywood Sign Hike
Getting closer

Hollywood Sign Hike
The sun setting

Hollywood Sign Hike
We made it! (The hike takes you behind the sign)

One year ago: Little Ethiopia
Two years ago: Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
Three years ago: Shrimp with Chive Butter

Spiced Candied Walnuts
(Adapted from Dishin and Dishes)

2 cups walnuts
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch aleppo pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the sugars, cinnamon, salt, and peppers in a bowl. Set aside.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the walnuts and let them blanch for 30 seconds. Drain the walnuts, then quickly toss them with the sugar mixture (the sugar will melt).

Spread the walnuts in a single layer over the parchment paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the nuts have toasted and the sugar is bubbling. Use two forks to separate the nuts and allow them to cool completely. Serve with salad or as a party appetizer.

Printable Recipe

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Erica said...

So awesome that y'all volunteered- love it! Those cupcakes look fantastic. As do the walnuts :)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Those nuts sound totally addictive!

Heather Christo said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate Thanksgiving. Those Cupcakes look amazing!

Let Me Eat Cake said...

hiking to the Hollywood sign is so amazing and such a great workout, i just love it up there! love these walnuts i bet they would be a great topping for a cupcake!

marla said...

Such a happy & festive gathering for the holidays. Nuts sweet, savory or simply toasted are my favorite things :)

Unknown said...

fabulous, both the volunteering and the hike! oh wait, don't forget the walnuts--love those, too :)

Georgia Pellegrini said...

I just cooked off a batch of spiced nuts and I can't stop eating them! So fun around the holidays.

Kristina Vanni said...

Holy cow....I need to try that gingersnap cocktail! My favorite flavor! Love the candied walnuts, I did a sweet/spicy mixed nuts recipe today too!

Joanne said...

Your Thanksgiving sounds awesome! So many things I want to devour in this post...but mostly the candied nuts.

vanillasugarblog said...

you've been working out a lot ms thing.
i make coated walnuts for the shrimp with walnuts. it's so good. have you ever had that dish? my favorite chinese dish ever.

Nancy said...

Definitely sounds like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Those nuts look addictive and I think they would make a terrific hostess gift!!