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Sweet-and-Spicy Sesame Walnuts

Photo: Con Poulos
Active time 20 mins
Total time 45 mins
Yield Makes about 7 cups
A gentle heat makes these seasoned walnuts ideal with cocktails.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (about 4 cups) walnut halves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup (4 ounces) sesame seeds
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

How to Make It

  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.