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
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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.