Snack Time: Peppered Maple Walnuts

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We first encountered these delicious walnuts on our Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Farm Tour last year.  They were served along-side some of the amazing cheeses that they make on their farm in Point Reyes (they are particularly good with the Toma).  I remember gobbling up a good quantity of these salty-sweet walnuts with ridiculous amounts of cheese.  We were delighted when we came across the recipe in a recent issue of Edible magazine and tried making these walnuts right away. These peppered maple walnuts have become a staple at our home – we are totally hooked.  They are lovely with cheese, but also with vanilla ice-cream (Straus vanilla – a current favorite) as well! Needless to say, the possibilities are endless, but they are pretty spectacular on their own as well.

Good recipe to make with the kids and it never hurts to have these lying around when unexpected guests drop by.

Peppered Maple Walnuts from Edible Magazine

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons ( ½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¾ pound (about 3 cups) walnut halves

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 300°.
  2. Combine all the ingredients except the walnuts in a small saucepan, stir and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 3 minutes, until thickened.
  3. Place the walnuts in a large bowl and pour the butter mixture over, tossing them to evenly coat.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment, foil or a silicone baking mat. Spread the coated walnuts in a single layer on the pan. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring and turning the walnuts about every 10 minutes. Cook until walnuts appear fairly dry.
  5. Slide walnuts off the tray onto a wire rack and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Walnuts can be frozen and re-toasted upon thawing to freshen the crunch.
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