Make Ahead

Sage-Candied Walnuts

January  5, 2012
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

I have never been a particular fan of nuts. Cashews were all right in my book, but pecans? Walnuts? I didn't want them muddying up my breads and cookies. Everything changed after I tried The Nut Box's candied pecans. Glorious! I think the word "addiction" is appropriate, and now I find myself giving all nuts a second look. All I know about the pecans are the ingredients: butter, sugar and salt. This is my take on them, using sage and walnuts. (I got the egg white tip from Smitten Kitchen). —Cristina Sciarra

Test Kitchen Notes

This is the kind of adult walnut confection that should be served at your favorite cocktail bar. Don't be afraid to up the sage by half or reduce the sugar a little depending on your taste. Either way, you'll be munching on these til kingdom come. Highly addictive. —favabean

  • Makes a baking-sheet full
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons sage, finely chopped
  • 5 cups walnuts
  • 1 egg white, beaten until a little stiff
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • a generous sprinkling of sea salt
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. In a medium pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the finely chopped sage, and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg white. Add the walnuts, and toss. Add the maple syrup and the butter, and incorporate. Add the sugars, and toss until the walnuts are evenly coated.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300F. Spread the walnuts evenly on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cook the walnuts for 30 minutes, breaking them up about every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

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Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.