Sweet-and-Spicy Sesame Walnuts


A gentle heat makes these seasoned walnuts ideal with cocktails.

Sweet-and-Spicy Sesame Walnuts
Photo: © Con Poulos
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
7 cups


  • 1 pound walnut halves (about 4 cups)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ½ cup water

  • cup sesame seeds (4 ounces)

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons cayenne pepper

  • ½ 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.

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