Borrowed directly from the pages of the magnificent cookbook “Nuts: Sweet and Savory Recipes… from Diamond of California”
These delicious crunchy nuts make a fine addition to a cheese platter or a holiday cookie assortment. You can find maple flavoring in the spice section of most supermarkets*, along with the vanilla and other extracts. For an equally tasty variation, substitute pure vanilla extract for the maple.
- 1 c packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 1/2 c sour cream or plain yogurt, drained of any excess liquid
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 4 c walnut halves
- 2 tsp maple flavoring
Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, coat with vegetable oil spray. In a heavy, medium saucepan, mix together brown sugar, granulated sugar, sour cream, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is smooth and comes to a boil. Continue cooking, stirring, until mixture reaches 236F to 240F on a candy thermometer. (A small spoonful of the mixture dropped into ice water will form a soft ball when rubbed between your index finger and thumb.)
Quickly stir in walnuts and maple flavoring; cook, stirring, until nuts are coated completely, 2 to 3 minutes. Working carefully, spread walnuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, separating nuts with a fork. Let cool completely.
Store airtight at room temperature up to 1 week.
Yields 4 cups.
* (or, ahem, at Foodstuffs…)