I’ve been loving walnuts recently. I’ve turned to them during my pregnancy as a natural way to cut back on inflammation (especially when I had an overactive sciatic nerve problem) and for a great source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids for both my health and the health of my baby!
My favorite ways to eat walnuts are:
The caramel in these turtle candies is soft & sweet and it compliments the crunchy walnuts and the rich chocolate. However, I wish I had gotten my caramel just slightly harder, but I was having a major kitchen disaster.
The calphalon pans that I got 4 years ago were cheap and the non-stick is starting to wear away. Make caramel in these pots and the non-stick stuff gets deposited into the candy. I did it once and had to throw the whole pot of candy away. Ugh. So, I have to use my one and only all-clad metal pot to make the caramel. It’s only 1 quart in size which is ridiculously small for making caramel. Needless to say, I had caramel all over the stove, which my husband graciously scraped off when he got home from work. I desperately need a bigger all-clad pot. Any one want to get it for me? I’ll make you theseeee? 😉
But, even after all of that drama, these were pretty incredible. Logan took them into work to share with his coworkers and a few of them said they were their favorite thing that I had ever made. And these people know their sweets. They get to taste test all of my creations!
adapted from The Comfort of Cooking
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter + more to grease the baking sheets
- 1/2-3/4 pound of walnut halves and pieces
- 1 cup low fat evaporated milk
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups 60% cacao Ghirardelli chocolate chips
- Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper and spread a good layer of softened butter on top.
- Arrange the walnut pieces in clumps on the baking sheet. You’ll be pouring the caramel and chocolate on top of them soon. Just be sure to leave about 1-2 inches of space between each one, in case the caramel or chocolate spreads.
- In a large metal sauce pan, combine 1/2 cup of the evaporated milk, the corn syrup, and the sugar together.
- In another bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of the evaporated milk and the 4 tablespoons of butter. Set aside.
- Bring the contents of the sauce pan up to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the evaporated milk and butter you set aside.
- Stir the mixture constantly until it reaches a temperature of 240°F, according to your candy thermometer.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Allow the caramel to cool to 200°F.
- Spoon about a tablespoon of the caramel over each walnut cluster.
- Allow the caramel to harden slightly while you melt your chocolate.
- Over a double boiler (or a glass bowl hovering over a pot of simmering water), melt the chocolate.
- Allow the chocolate to cool a bit, until you can touch it with your fingers and not burn yourself.
- Spoon some chocolate over the caramel walnut clusters.
- Put in the fridge or freezer to harden.
- Keep cold until ready to serve. I thought they tasted best frozen, especially in the summer!
Winner: Candy who said, ‘I like to put walnuts in my carrot cake, brownies and cookies. I also like to eat walnuts right out of the package.’
- California Walnuts Cutting Mat
- California Walnuts Spatula
- California Walnuts Mini Chopper
- California Walnuts Recipe Booklet
- One pound bag of California Walnuts
(Mandatory): Leave a comment on this post telling me Your favorite way to enjoy walnuts! (recipe links welcome!)
Deadline: May 11, 2012 at 11:59am Eastern Time
- Become a fan of chocolate & carrots on facebook (current or new fans)! Leave a separate comment telling me you are a fan.
Side Note: California Walnuts is also running a contest on their facebook page! All you have to do to enter is submit your idea for naturally defending your body and staying healthy. The person with the most votes will receive a health club membership valued at $1200. Five runners up will each receive a five pound bag of California Walnuts.
I love to mix walnuts into my granola…so yum!
I love walnuts in cookies!
I love tossing walnuts in just about everything! Cookies, salads, pastas! But my ABSOLUTE favorite way to eat them is candied 🙂
I didn’t know walnuts help cut back on inflammation! I probably should add more into my diet, then! i love anything turtle..it was one of my favs growing up..to get turtle on all my ice cream haha
I’m also a huge fan of candied walnuts on salads. Oatmeal would be my next choice:-)
Yum! These looks so good. I love walnuts in everything…chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal, quick breads, salads..etc.
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Love putting walnuts in my fruit and nut trail mix!
Mmm, I love to put toasted walnuts in deep dark fudgy brownies. 🙂
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The turtles look SO yummy! What a great treat. I use walnuts in my granola!
I love walnuts on a salad comprised of mixed greens, blue cheese, and dried cherries or cranberries. YUM!
candied walnuts (or any nut for that matter)
Chocolate Chip Cookies! However, those turtles look SOOOO good!
Fresh Walnut Cranberry Sourdough Bread!
I love to add walnuts to my salad
I love turtle candies! And lately I have been loving them too much in vanilla granola. Although, I don’t mind eating them just by the handful either!
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I love to eat walnuts just plain. Also like them in cookies. We used to have a walnut tree in our yard when I was growing up.
I like walnuts in cookies!
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Really like walnuts in brownies!
These sound so good Caroline! I usually add my walnuts to muffins or other baked goods for a nice crunch. 🙂 PS if you have a home goods near you, they usually have all-clad and calphalon much cheaper than other box stores. You could probably pick up a new pan relatively cheap. 🙂
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These turtle candies look DANGEROUS! I could eat a gazillion of these without even blinking!
As for my favorite way to use walnuts, I love adding them on top of banana bread!
I LOVE walnuts plain or in banana bread & bread pudding! YUM! 🙂
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I love chocolate and walnuts!
I usually eat walnuts in my banana bread. Or candied cayenne or any chili nuts!
My favorite way to enjoy walnuts is just eating them plain. 🙂
I love walnuts most of all in Maple Walnut ice cream.
I love mixing walnuts into a loaf of banana bread.
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your turtles are the cutest!! 🙂 i like to eat my walnuts in dark chocolate chip cookies 🙂 mmm!
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I love walnuts on top of chocolate cakes for a crunch on dessert
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love walnuts! My current favorite is walnuts in banana baked oatmeal.
The second I saw the recipe I took a mental inventory of my kitchen to see if I have all of that, yep, sure do! I might need to make these tonight. They look soooo caramely and gooey and delicious! Oh, and my fave way to eat walnuts: toasted, period. SO stinken good!
Lately I soaked them overnight and then blended them to make a walnut milk as a base for my smoothie! Loved it!
a salad of : walnuts, roasted corn kernels, chopped jalapenos, feta cheese, lime juice, olive oil and cayenne pepper.
These look so indulgent and fabulous–yum! I like walnuts on my salads with a little bit of feta or goat cheese 🙂
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I like using them as croutons on salad!
I like walnuts plain or in a drop cookie I make with chopped walnuts, coconut, corn flakes and melted chocolate
I love walnuts on top my greek yogurt but I must try making these turtles with walnuts!!! These look delicious!!
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I love walnuts in my brownies!
I love walnuts in oatmeal, toasted!
Walnuts are amazing!! They’re so great in a lot of things, but I’d have to say my favorite is in a fresh homemade loaf of banana bread 🙂
What an awesome giveaway. I LOVE walnuts in yogurt, pancakes and hot cereal.
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I love them just as they are, but frozen! Great snack. But, as an add in for a meal – I add them to cooked quinoa with blueberries for breakfast. Toasted, of course!
I love walnuts by the handful.. or tossed into some greek yogurt. Yum! These turtles look fantastic – my mom would love them. May have to make some for Mother’s day!
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i like walnuts in cinnamon raisin bread
Cinnamon sugar caramelized walnuts are the best!
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What an amazing way to have walnuts. This is just right up my alley 🙂
I love adding toasted walnuts to quick breads like zucchini or banana bread!
I love putting walnuts in brownies- soooo delicious!
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I love walnuts in the turtle variety as well!! I also love walnuts combined with feta and dried cranberries in a salad 🙂
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I love eating walnuts with dried cherries and dark chocolate chips!
My husband and I love walnuts in banana bread! Your turtle candies look so good! The only times I’ve tried making a caramel in a non-stick pan, it just doesn’t work. I thought it was the non-stick factor…but maybe now I’m wrong?
I love candied walnuts added to green salads and I think walnuts make almost any/every baked goodie better! Thanks for the giveaway!
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I love walnuts in banana bread! Yum!
great giveaway! i do love eating nuts raw, but also adore making spiced nuts:
I also just became a fan of Chocolate and Carrots on FB. I love finding new food bloggers to like on FB! 🙂
I love making candied walnuts to snack on! A bit indulgent, but so goood.
I love this idea! I like walnuts in granola 🙂
I love to throw them in my oatmeal or toast with a little brown sugar for salads. Yum!
These turtles look so amazing. I love walnuts on top of oatmeal.
My favorite thing to do with walnuts is to make butter out of them and make cookies with the butter instead of oil or butter. Recipe coming soon! And I know I don’t live in the US but I still have a US mailing address and parents who like walnuts. 😀
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Those turtle candies look amazing! I love to use walnuts in place of pine nuts in pesto! Or in oatmeal with a banana – tastes like banana bread!
I love candied walnuts on a salad.
I eat walnuts in my oatmeal 5 days a week.
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I love them warm and toasty from the oven as a snack, or whirred into a spread for homemade bread! Chopped and tossed into oatmeal isn’t bad either… you really can’t go wrong!
Love glazed or candied walnuts. So delicious!
I just like to eat walnuts out of hand. Of course, if I have any left over after snacking, I’m more than happy to toss them in a salad or on top of some pasta.
i love walnuts in carrot cake and mixed into muffins!
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I am so excited to find your site. always looking for great things to cook/bake for those I love. Nuts make everything better!
I love walnuts in chocolate chip cookies!
I like to put walnuts in my carrot cake, brownies and cookies. I also like to eat walnuts right out of the package.
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2 of my fav ways to eat walnuts…I make organic Walnut Butter-ground walnuts and spread it on a wild rice cakes, with Nativa CocoMana, cinnamon and shaved dark chocolate, and I lightly warm in the microwave. And another way is toss walnut pieces in cooked tri colored quinoa, celery,shaved fennel and add curry powder. serve with more veggies or even toss on top of salad greens and sprinkle some Coconut Aminos. Yumo and healthy.
In coffee cake or as some type of streusel. Or covered in chocolate 🙂
I love walnuts in frosted brownies- with a few more sprinkled on top!
When I lived in Spain after high school we always had walnuts and fruit after dinner. Using our knives and nutcrackers we’d open them ourselves and enjoy them with winter pears. Walnuts are still a favorite today eaten plain or tossed into banana bread!
Brownies, brownies, brownies!!!…and now homemade turtles!
I like to use them in veggie burgers. 🙂
In almost any baked goods
Omg these look amazing! My favorite way to enjoy walnuts is exactly how you made them. I love turtle candies!
My favorite way to enjoy walnuts is to make candied spiced walnuts with brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and a dash of cloves or plain on a salad or just for a snack. I love walnuts!
I love toasted walnuts in a simple waldorf.. I also have an amazing recipe that has grapes, cream cheese,lots of walnuts and brown sugar..etc. email me if you want the recipe!
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I toast them on top of the stove, then briefly sauté them in soy sauce, just till it coats them. Then I sprinkle them on a brown rice, chicken and edamame stir fry. Love them like that!
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Chopped up in Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies!
Love walnuts and cranberries with spinach and purple onion salad w/balsamic vinegar. We also love them in ginger cookies, banana nut bread, and absolutely must have in carrot cake.
Have you tried them heated w/evoo drizzled on them and seasoned with curry??? Delish! They are great in brittle.
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Wowzas! Those turtles look awesome. I make turtle-candies every Christmas to put on our goodie trays, but have never done them the totally homemade way using homemade caramel (usually just with little pre-wrapped caramels). Yours look incredible… I’m drooling. 😉
My favorite way to use almonds is in EVERYTHING, but particularly granola and baked goods. I love them in bars/cookies and in PESTO or sauces as well! I go through pounds of walnuts regularly.
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i love walnuts in muffins, like zucchini or banana
I just made a “pesto” the other day of walnuts, green onions and fava leaves. I think its my new favorite food!!!
Mmm … turtles. What was the question again? LOL
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In brownies 🙂 thanks
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I love eating walnuts with greek yogurt, strawberries and blueberries.
my favorite thing to eat
I love walnuts on just a slice of cold whole wheat bread, strange and super delicious
i like walnuts in my brownies
walnuts plain without anything is my favorite snack
I love walnuts in salads of any kind, and of course, I pop a few while I prepare my meal for a snack!