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Nov 23, 2010 06:58 AM

"nuts 4 nuts" candied nuts recipe - help, please

I love the sugared nuts from the "nuts 4 nuts" vendors in NYC. After recently spending a weekend there and enjoying the nuts again, I decided to try to make them myself. So I found a recipe which purports to be the "secret" to these nuts and I tried it. They were good but not quite the same. The sugar on the street vendor's nuts is in large crystals and very crunchy, and the nuts are crunchy as well. The recipe says to use raw nuts (which I did), but because they were raw, they were soft, not crunchy. Also, the sugar ended up looking more like a fine brown sugar coating. I looked at a couple of sites, and this site has photos from users who have made the recipe. Mine came out the same:

Has anyone made these with different results? Anyone have any tips on how to achieve the crunchy nut/crunchy coating?


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  1. I've made sugared nuts before but I also do not end up with the large sugar crystals. However, I oven toast them after the sugaring process to roast the nuts so they are crunchier. Put them in a 300 degree oven in a large rimmed pan, and stir them every 5 minutes or so until they stir easily and aren't sticking together anymore.

    I wonder if sprinkling on some large crystalled sugar at the end of the process while they are still hot would give more of the sugaring effect you're looking for? Might be worth a try with some of a batch of nuts.

    1 Reply
    1. re: weezycom

      Thanks for the suggestions. I will try your first suggestion tonight with the batch I made last night. I actually thought of adding large crystal sugar at the end but I'm not sure if it will stick. But I can experiment. It was certainly easy enough to make, and DH loves nuts, so making several batches won't go to waste!

    2. Try David Lebovitz's candied peanut recipe - he's got good detailed instructions with photos; reading the recipe you used I'd guess the nuts weren't cooked long enough (espcially when you compare that recipe with that on the Lebovitz website). I've made DL's recipe before, it's quite good but I don't know how it compares to nuts 4 nuts.

      5 Replies
      1. re: janniecooks

        I checked out the link, and they do look more like what I was hoping for. I'll definitely give this recipe a try. Thanks!

        1. re: janniecooks

          Thanks for this suggestion and the link. These look great. I was planning to make spiced nuts to go with Christmas gifts. Think this will be the recipe. Any tips?

          1. re: karykat

            These candied nuts would be a great gift, especially if paired with a gift of spiced nuts, like the Union Square Bar nuts which aren't too sweet. Follow DL's directions as shown in the photos on his website and keep cooking and stirring until they are nicely bronzed and you'll succeed!

            1. re: janniecooks

              Great. Will do. We will pair these with caramel acorn cookies and an acorn ornament (which I somehow have in quantity.) So the theme will be nuts! I'm looking forward to these. Our coop has raw peanuts in bulk, so I'll stock up.

              1. re: karykat

                I made three batches of these David Lebovitz nuts and thought I'd report back.

                I used unsalted roasted peanuts (since our coop was inexplicably out of raw ones.)

                For batch 1, everything went well. The peanuts didn't get real dark but they had kind of a sandy glaze on them. I used some 5 spice powder and salt to season. They didn't quite look like the picture but tasted very good.

                For batch 2, I used some turbinado sugar with white sugar (about half and half). I thought the turbinado would make them darker, more like the picture. I was kind of alarmed when the mix got much darker much earlier, but I think that was just the turbinado. They had the same kind of sandy look. I used cinnamon and salt. I think the cinnamon was a little too sweet for my tastes with all the sugar, but did taste good.

                For batch 3, I used a little turbinado but not much, mostly the white sugar. I turned up the heat more this time as I had more confidence. With the higher heat, at a certain point, the sandiness disappeared and the sugar turned into more of a dark glaze. So this is how they were supposed to be!!!!! Unfortunately, they then started smoking and burning a bit. That happened very fast! I used 5 spice and salt on this batch. And they were very good. I was able to pick out the burned ones, mostly. I thought the batch was ruined but was able to save it that way.

                So here's what I learned: I will use 5 spice or a more savory spice with the salt. Not all that much. And a bit higher heat than I started out with. And towards the end of the process, watch it LIKE A HAWK to keep them from burning.

                We are celebrating Christmas with the other side of the family on New Years Day, so I have 3 more batches to go! And a good feeling about it.

                (Also think those nuts with either honey or maple syrup and done in the oven on one of the other threads sounds good too!)

        2. The book Party Nuts! by Sally Sampson has a variety of techniques and recipes that may help you out. I've made about 7 recipes regularly and they are all fantastic. I usually toss the nuts with additional sugar/salt/spice when they are still hot and then let them air dry for a couple hours. Both the sweet and savory variety come out great this way and seem to pack and mail well too.

          1. Here is a VERY simple recipe where the nuts turn out crunchy and sweet. Over the past few months I have tried many candied nut recipes. Not only was this one the easiest, it is also the best.

            1 egg white
            1/2 cup sugar
            1 teaspoon salt (you can leave salt out if you want)
            2 cups nuts. I used mixed nuts
            1/2 cup butter. ***The recipe calls for 2/3 cup butter. But the first time I made them and used this much butter they were not as good as when I cut the butter portion down.

            Preheat oven to 350. Beat the egg white until VERY stiff. Add sugar and salt.
            Fold in nuts.
            Melt butter and pour into a shallow baking pan (I used a cookie sheet.
            Pour nut mixture evenly in pan.
            Bake 30 mintues, stirring several times (every 10 minutes is what I did)

            Place foil on counter. Put brown paper (not paper towels, nuts stick to it) over foil.
            Remove nuts from oven Spread on paper bag to dry.
            Store in airtight container.

            1. Maybe not what you're looking for exactly, but here is the simplest recipe I've found for sugared nuts. And they've come out perfectly each time I've made them:

              SUGARED WALNUTS


              1 egg white at room temperature
              1 tablespoon water
              1 pound walnut halves
              1 cup white sugar
              1 teaspoon salt
              1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


              Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease one large baking sheet, or line with a sheet of parchment paper.

              In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg white and water until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, salt, and cinnamon.

              Add walnuts to egg whites, stir to coat the nuts evenly. Remove the nuts, and toss them in the sugar mixture until coated. Spread the nuts out on the prepared baking sheet.

              Bake at 300 degrees F for 30 minutes. Turn nuts after 15 minutes.

              Separate clumps of walnuts as they cool on sheet.  These nuts can be frozen.  Pecan halves can be substituted for walnuts.