Sweet and Salty Nuts in 10 Minutes

Sweet and Salty Nuts in 10 Minutes

Glazed nuts, toffee nuts, caramelized nuts…whatever you call these sweet and salty bites, they are crunchy and delicious!  And so easy to make.  I mean really.  These nuts come together in about 10 minutes.  You can buy similar products in gourmet stores for outrageous prices that I never understand.  Why should nuts cost 2 to 3 times as much because they have some sugar on them?  Sugar is cheap!

I love these nuts on a salad, but they are delicious in just about any context.  Chop and sprinkle them over pumpkin spice ice cream.  Use them whole as a beautiful and delicious decoration for carrot cake or sweet potato pie.  The spicy variations (see below) make great party snacks.

Just look how simple the ingredients are:

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Large pinch of kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup nuts (I like pecan or walnut halves best)


Note:  This recipe is easily doubled.

Put the brown sugar, water, butter and kosher salt in a heavy, preferably non-stick, skillet.

Bring to boil, stirring.

Boil for 1 minute before adding the nuts.  I used pecans today, but you could use just about anything…walnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts.  Go crazy!

Stir and toss until the nuts are thoroughly coated with a glaze, about 3 minutes.  If they start to smoke, take them off before they burn.

Transfer nuts to sheet of foil or parchment paper and quickly separate with forks.

The syrup may seem a little chewy at first, but it becomes crisp when it cools completely.  The nuts keep for at least 3 days at room temperature and much longer in the fridge, but the real challenge is keeping them until you serve to use them.

Significant snacking will occur so make extra.

VARIATION:  Add a little spice to the glaze.  For instance, try 1/2 teaspoon of curry or cumin or whatever spice goes with what you’re serving.  Or try 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne for a little kick.