Walking through the San Francisco Ferry Building one day, I saw a sign outside the Imperial Tea Court advertising "green tea walnuts." They were, unfortunately, sold out, but I had a tin of matcha (Japanese green tea powder) at home and I started scheming to make them myself. These are crunchy, rich, bittersweet, and quite sophisticated. The sugar here is an imprecise measurement, so feel free to adjust it up or down depending on how sweet or bitter you want your nuts to be. —ieatthepeach
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Ieatthepeach cooks, eats, and writes out of San Francisco.
WHAT: A snack to munch on until the ball drops this New Year's.
HOW: Coat walnuts in a mixture of egg whites and water, season with Japanese green tea powder, sugar, and salt, and bake until brown and glistening.
WHY WE LOVE IT: These walnuts, with a flavor more complex than your run-of-the-mill candied nuts, are not too-sweet -- and that means you can eat more of them without getting bored. The green tea powder provides pleasantly bitter notes, and next time we make it, we'll experiment with adding an additional tablespoon or two of matcha for a bigger jolt. —The Editors
about 4 cups
raw (demerara/turbinado) sugar, or to taste
matcha (unsweetened green tea powder)
Preheat the oven to 300º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, matcha, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg white and water until thick and foamy but not stiff. Add nuts and stir to coat evenly. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the nuts, and toss again until evenly coated.
Spread the nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes or so, for about 30 minutes, or until the nuts are deeply browned and just dry to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet.
Once the nuts are cooled, go through and break up any stuck-together clumps. Transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.