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Caramelized Walnuts
From Baking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan. Contributing Baker Mary Bergin.

Caramelized walnuts or pecans, almonds, or any other nuts make a nice trim for a cake or a nibblette with espresso. This recipe is written for a dozen nuts just enough to decorate a cake roll or round but it can be multiplied easily.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
12 shelled walnuts or other nuts

Instructions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it close at hand.

Put the sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly Once the sugar starts to color, check the color often by dropping a bit of the caramel onto a white plate you're aiming for a golden caramel.

When you've got the color you want, add the nuts 2 at a time, dropping them into the caramel, turning them around with a fork to coat them, and then lifting them out and onto the parchment to cool and harden.

To make fast work of cleaning the sugar pot, fill the pot with hot tap water and bring it to the boil. Pour out the water and the sticky, hardened-onto-the-bottom-and-sides-of-the-pan caramel will follow.

Storing: The caramelized nuts can be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for a couple of days.

Yield: Makes 12 candied nuts

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