Recipe by Dawn Timmerman
"These walnuts are a special treat for Christmas, and are well worth the time it takes to make them."
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The "soft ball stage" is when you can dribble a bit of the mixture into a bowl of water, then scoopr it up and form it into a ball that can be flattened. In other words, the ball should hold its shape (i.e., not fall apart), but should be "squishable" --not like a marble. For me, this happened at 8 minutes without a problem, so you probably don't even need to worry about the soft ball stage.
These are definitely overated and were such a mess. Not worth the time and trouble.
Wow! This took almost no time at all and are definitely addictive! Watch the sugar mixture carefully, because mine reached the soft ball stage after just 3-4 minutes at medium-low (I turned the flame down because I was using a small 2qt pot). If you're not sure how to tell when it's done, check out www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/candy/sugar-stages.html. It has short videos of the different candy making stages and has been a lifesaver for me. These nuts are so crispy and delicious -- I'll bet pecans would be terrific too!
Thank you so much for this perfect recipe!!!! My family LOVES these. If you don't boil the syrup enough, the nuts come out cloudy and the sugar forms crystals that are kind of powdery but they still taste good. Try using pecans and substituting a 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom or Chinese five spice powder instead of 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Also, I dump the nuts out on a SILPAT or on parchment paper to "dry". Last time I made them I must have not boiled the syrup enough, and I didn't think they were ever going to set, but I left them out on the parchment paper overnight, and they turned out perfectly. Thanks again.
First of all I want to say this recipe is great! I used pecans since I'm using them to decorate a butter pecan cake. I do want to warn some people that try to make this though. The first time I tried it my candy thermometer DID NOT read "soft ball" stage so I continued to cook it. It suddenly became so hard I couldn't even stir it. The second time around, I set the timer for 8 minutes exactly, per directions, and it did the same thing. The third time I cooked it I set a bowl of very cold water next to the pan and kept testing it until it reached the "soft ball" stage and it ended up perfect...only ending up cooking it about 4 1/2 minutes total. They taste awesome and my husband, who HATES nuts, said "wow, I could eat a whole lot more of those!"
I love candied walnuts but the calories are way too much! Since this recipe seemed easy enough, I used Splenda in place of the cup of sugar. They came out great! I served them up to people and they gobbled them up without any hesitation! I will definitely make again, change the spices slightly as I like a little more zip than the cinnamon alone provided.
It was quick and easy, even for a non-cook like me. I did not measure temp, just let the sugar mix cook for 8 min. I did add a little more cinnamon for added flavor. This recipe will be one of my "regulars".
These are wonderful. I have made them with the walnuts, also with almond and pecans, all were great. You would have to be NUTS not to like these.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Dawn's Candied Walnuts
Serving Size: 1/16 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 16
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 168
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