1 pound walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne
3 tablespoons vegetable or walnut oil
salt to taste
Sweet and spicy walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Mix sugar and cayenne together in a small bowl.
Meanwhile, bring a large kettle or pot of water to a boil. Place nuts in a large bowl, and pour boiling water over. Let steep for a minute or two, then drain.
Return to the bowl and add the sugar, cayenne and oil. Stir until sugar melts and nuts are coated evenly.
Pour into a single layer on a large baking sheet. If you have a silicone baking mat, this is the time to use it. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes. Depending on the size of the nut pieces and how wet they are, they’ll need different cooking times. Check them at about 15 minutes, and stir them, moving the nuts on the outside edges of the baking sheet into the center and vice versa. Return to the oven and bake another 10 minutes or more. They should be a very deep golden brown, but be careful that they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt to taste. Let cool.