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1/4 cup superfine sugar 
2 quarts water 
2 cups walnut halves 
2 cups oil, or as needed 

Put sugar in a large mixing bowl. Put a large sieve in the sink; set another one over a bowl near stove; cover a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Bring water to a rolling boil in a 4-quart saucepan, add nuts, blanch for 1 minute, pour into sieve, rinse with hot water, and drain well. Transfer to bowl with sugar; mix with a rubber spatula to melt sugar and coat nuts evenly. 

Heat oil to 350 degrees in a heavy skillet. Using a large slotted spoon, put half the nuts in the oil. Fry until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off heat and transfer nuts to the dry sieve. Shake to separate pieces. Transfer to the baking sheet, moving them about with a spatula to keep them from sticking to pan or each other. Reheat oil to 350 degrees and repeat with remaining nuts. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature. They keep well for up to 4 days. Makes 2 cups