Sunday, December 6, 2015

Candied Black Pepper Walnuts

I came across this recipe recently in P Allen Smith's cookbook and immediately knew I MUST make it as soon as possible.  I wish I could take credit for coming up with this amazing combination, but I will take credit for knowing when something is going to be a huge hit.  So already you can't go wrong with candied walnuts, but then adding the unexpected savory quality of the black pepper to them... oh my word these are so good - and so addicting!  And you know what else?  They make a great homemade gift for the holidays!  You know... neighbors, teachers, bus drivers, you name it.

So let's get started.  This recipe is easy peezy.  Just store the nuts in something airtight when you are done and they will keep for a few weeks at room temperature, or a few months in the freezer.  Who am I kidding?  They will be done in a matter of days, if not hours.  Ha!  


Ingredients: 
  • 4 cups of shelled walnuts
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
Step-by-Step
Have everything ready before you start, because once you begin the process, you won't be able to stop and get your things together.   Included in this is having your pans of parchment or waxed paper, and having all ingredients on hand.


In a large skillet (so they will have plenty of room to move around), combine the walnuts and the sugar.  
4 cups walnuts + 2/3 cup sugar
Stir together on medium-medium high heat until the sugar melts.  It may take a while, but just keep stirring.  You don't need to stir frantically, because the sugar will ball up.  Just let it relax.  All at once, you will see the sugar start to liquify.  That's when things start to happen quickly.

When the sugar melts, continue stirring while you add the 1 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp pepper.
*Tip - hold your breath while you add the pepper.  LOL!  Or you may notice everyone in the kitchen starting to cough.  
After each element is incorporated, turn the walnuts out onto waxed/parchment paper-lined sheet pans, spreading them out as much as you can with a wooden spoon.  

In a matter of about a minute or so, you should be able to handle them with your hands to separate any that are sticking together.  You really don't want walnut "clusters."  But you have to do this before the caramel hardens.

Allow them to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.  I betcha you won't be able to eat just one!  

These make precious gifts.  You are limited only in your imagination.  We add them to wide mouth pint jars with a bit of fabric and a rustic twine to hold a tag.  The wide mouth jars work great because they are easy to reach into, create a great airtight seal, and are reuseable.  

I hope you enjoyed this fabulous and easy recipe!
There are hundreds more in my Recipe Index, just waiting to be chosen and cooked!  You can also visit my Film strips for pinning page, to see whole recipes at a glance, and to click-and-go right to the recipe.

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Written Method: 
Have everything ready before you start, because once you begin the process, you won't be able to stop and get your things together.   Included in this is having your pans of parchment or waxed paper, and having all ingredients on hand.

In a large skillet (so they will have plenty of room to move around), combine the 4 cups walnuts and the 2/3 cup sugar.  Stir together on medium-medium high heat until the sugar melts.  It may take a while, but just keep stirring.  All at once, you will see the sugar start to liquify.  That's when things start to happen quickly.

When the sugar melts, continue stirring while you add the 1 tsp salt and 1 Tbsp pepper.  *Tip - hold your breath while you add the pepper.  LOL!  Or you may notice everyone in the kitchen starting to cough.  
After each element is incorporated, turn the walnuts out onto waxed/parchment paper-lined sheet pans, spreading them out as much as you can with a wooden spoon.  

In a matter of about a minute or so, you should be able to handle them with your hands to separate any that are sticking together.  You really don't want walnut "clusters."  But you have to do this before the caramel hardens.

Allow them to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.  I betcha you won't be able to eat just one!   

4 comments:

  1. simple and tasty.!!
    Love it.
    Thanks for sharing.!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I've made so many batches of these that I can't keep up with them! :)

      Delete
  2. This looks really good. It seems that the key is speed and get everything ready before starts. I am thinking to do some variation like using brown sugar and butter too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely have to have everything ready first. And you need speed after you turn the nuts out onto the parchment. But not speed so much when stirring. If you stir too fast initially, the sugar will ball up. Allow the sugar to rest a bit and it will melt better.

      Cheers and best wishes for a wonderful new year!
      Julie

      Delete

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