Candied Walnuts are walnuts that have been coated with a buttery sweet mixture and then baked to a crunchy golden brown. They are an addicting snack on their own, but also a delicious topping for salads and desserts. And, they can even be made in an air fryer! After perfecting my Candied Pecans, I knew I had to try the recipe with walnuts, too!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Nuts: Use raw walnuts when making candied walnuts. Using raw, unsalted nuts allows you to control the level of saltiness in the final product. If using roasted nuts, they can alter the flavor and texture.
Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar is a key ingredient in this recipe. The molasses in the brown sugar adds a rich, caramel-like flavor to the walnuts, which pairs well with the nuttiness.
Honey: Honey adds sweetness and flavor, as well as helps create a smooth and even coating.
Butter: Butter adds richness and flavor to the nuts. Using unsalted butter lets you decide how salty you want the nuts to be. If you use salted butter, use less salt or omit it altogether.
How to Use Candied Walnuts
Besides being a sweet and crunchy snack, candied walnuts can be used in a variety of ways. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Give Them as a Gift: Package up a handful of nuts in decorative packaging and give them as a homemade gift.
- In Baked Goods: Candied walnuts can be used as a topping for cakes, muffins, and bread, or incorporated into the batter for an extra crunch.
- Topping for Ice Cream: Grab a bowl of no-churn vanilla ice cream and top it with some candied walnuts.
- In a Salad: Add a little crunch to a salad.
- Add to a Snack Board: Add a few nuts to a Dessert Charcuterie Board.
How to Store Candied Walnuts
Store candied walnuts in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for up to 1-2 weeks at room temperature. For longer storage, they will last up to a month in the refrigerator. If stored in the refrigerator, the nuts may get a little sticky or tacky. Simply spread them out onto a lined baking sheet and warm them up in the oven for a few minutes at 250°F. This will help them crisp up again.
- 2 ½ cups (292.5 g) walnut halves or pieces
- ¼ cup (50 g) light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup (85 g) honey
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To a large bowl, add the walnuts, brown sugar, honey, salt, and melted butter. Mix until the walnuts are well coated.
- Spread the coated walnuts in a single layer onto the lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, stirring them after 7 minutes. (The walnuts are done cooking when they are a deep brown in color.)
- Remove from the oven. Stir the walnuts, spreading them out. After 5 minutes, stir them again. Let them cool completely before serving. (If the walnuts are not crunchy enough after completely cool, place them in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.)
- Line the basket of your air fryer with parchment paper.
- Spread the coated walnuts into the lined basket. (Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to work in batches.)
- Air fry at 350°F for about 6 minutes, stirring the nuts halfway through.
- Pour the nuts onto a sheet of parchment paper to cool.
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