Candied Pecans or Walnuts for Salads

Since there has been an interest in candied nuts for my previous post “Baby Blue Salad” I thought it was best to include this post right now.  Being a librarian  I always try to cross-reference my recipes for my benefit as well as others.  See also my recipes Sweet and Spicy Pecans and Cashews and Cinnamon Sugar Pecans.

These special nuts always add a nice touch to a salad.  I have included three recipes; two  use pecans and I have used them with my recipes Bibb Salad with a Dijon Riesling Dressing by Art Smith, former Chef of Oprah and Baby Blue Salad by Franklin Biggs. The third one using walnuts is from the California Pizza Kitchen and they recommend serving it with their Waldorf Chicken Salad.  I will publish the recipe soon for their yummy salad.  All of these recipes I have adapted to my taste and of course that is the fun in cooking 🙂

Pecans – Bibb Salad with a Dijon Riesling Dressing:

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 tbsp. light corn syrup (Karo)
  • 1 tbsp. honey

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Spread the pecans on a foil lined baking sheet and heat the nuts for about 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven, pick up the foil and pour the pecans into a small bowl; add the honey and corn syrup.  Stir well to coat.

Place back on the baking sheet while separating the nuts as much as possible and cook another 5 minutes.  They will be sticky and shiny.  Separate the nuts more and cool completely on a sheet of waxed paper.

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Candied walnuts on the left and candied pecans on the right!

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Sweet and Spicy Pecans – Baby Blue Salad:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder (maybe less as the last time I made these they were too spicy)
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (I do not add)

This is a very simple and delicious topping on my Baby Blue Salad.  Stir together the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves;  add pecan halves and soak 10 minutes.  Drain well and discard sugar/water mixture.  This step was not in the author’s original recipe but is a good idea so the spices will adhere better.

Combine 2 tbsp. sugar, chili powder and red pepper (optional).  Here again the red pepper was added which was not in the original recipe.  For me the nuts were too hot and I will leave the red pepper out the next time I make this yummy salad.  Add pecans, tossing to coat.  Place on a greased baking sheet,  parchment or foil lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes; then stir and turn and bake another 5 minutes.  Soaking the pecans in the sugar/water mixture and all ready to eat!

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Walnuts:

  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 6 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2-1/2 cups walnut halves

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray or butter (I used butter).

Combine the honey, 3 tbsp. of the sugar and the butter in a large nonstick frying pan and heat; stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil.  Lower the heat and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 3 minutes.

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Add the walnuts to the syrup and stir to coat.  Spread the walnuts on the cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, turning the pan once.  I cooked them for 12 minutes as I could start to smell them and knew they were done.  You do not want the caramel to burn.

Place the hot walnuts in a bowl, scraping any bits that stick to the pan.  Sprinkle the nuts with the remaining 3 tbsp. sugar and toss to coat.  Allow the nuts to cool completely on a piece of wax paper.  Yum – we ate these as a snack!

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16 thoughts on “Candied Pecans or Walnuts for Salads

  1. Oooo. Love your sweet & spicy pecan recipe! I think I could eat those by the handful, forget the salad! Well, actually, I’ll have them on salad, especially your great looking salad with the little oranges and strawberries. Looks wonderful!

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    • Thanks very much Indu – I am glad you like them and for pinning them! They are good recipes and simple to make ahead of time for any salad you choose. Combined with fresh fruit is like “the icing on a cake” 🙂 Have a good week.

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  2. I love candied nuts and pecans or walnuts taste even better because they are soft nuts. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m going to try it. Have a pleasant week!

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  3. Pingback: Grilled Peach Salad with Honey Jalapeno Dressing | HostessAtHeart

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