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Sweet-and-Spicy Sesame Walnuts
© Con Poulos

Sweet-and-Spicy Sesame Walnuts

  • ACTIVE: 20 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: Makes about 7 cups
  • FAST
  • HEALTHY
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • VEGETARIAN

A gentle heat makes these seasoned walnuts ideal with cocktails.

  1. 1 pound walnut halves (about 4 cups)
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 cup water
  4. 2/3 cup sesame seeds (4 ounces)
  5. 1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  6. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large, wide saucepan, combine the walnuts, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Add the sesame seeds, cayenne and salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the water is nearly evaporated, about 4 minutes. Lower the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the walnuts are golden brown and sandy, about 4 minutes longer.
  2. Immediately pour the walnuts onto the prepared baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the nuts are deeply golden and covered with a sandy coating. Let the walnuts cool completely. Break any large clusters apart; transfer to a bowl to serve.