Lots of holiday parties this time of year. And while at these holiday parties do you ever find yourself sizing up the all the dishes and trying to figure out which one belongs to which person? Do you see the same old dishes year after year and think "jeez, did that person bring that crappy dish again?". Are you as bad as I am? And put a face to each and every dish and then wait to see which person comes over to the dish to 're-organize it', 'clean it up'? Well, yes I am guilty of that. But I'm also guilty of waiting to see who belongs to the fabulous dishes too. Dying to find out who it is and ask them why this, what made you think of that? Because that means there is another foodie at the party and a good "food" conversation will surely start.
So I made these candied walnuts with the hope in mind that a few people will bite into them and then a few seconds later a gentle expression of "oh, that's different", "what's in this?". I love that part. And of course I love to answer every single ingredient query. Do you?
What's the worst party themed dish you've seen?
What's the best?
These candied walnuts came about when that jar lone of peppered jelly was just sitting in the cupboard for a couple months. I did have plans to use it in a cheese/wine roll of some sort, but saw the walnuts and knew immediately what to do with it. I was hesitant at first because it doesn't make it completely candied/hardened but does lend a nice unique flavor. They are sticky but tasty.
hot pepper jelly candied walnuts
¾ cup hot pepper jelly/jam
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 dashes of Tabasco sauce
2 cups walnuts (pecans would work well too)
1 egg white, room temperature
Cook notes: the nuts will be sticky after baking; they will not form a hard shell; sticky but very tasty. The pepper jelly is not that spicy at all--a gentle heat.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a bowl mix the hot pepper jelly with salt and Tabasco sauce. Set aside.
In separate bowl beat egg white frothy but not stiff. Add in the walnuts, and stir to coat evenly. Next add in the pepper jelly mix and toss until evenly coated.
Spread the nut mixture onto a parchment or silicone mat lined cookie sheet.
I gave them a light sprinkle of salt before baking, optional.
Bake for 30-40 minutes; halfway thru mixing up the nuts and/or rotate the pan. Check at the 30 minute mark for doneness.
You will know the nuts are done when they are slightly browned and the jelly coating is firmed up a bit.
Remove from oven. Nuts will be hot, so be careful touching them.
After they’ve cooled a bit, separate and break up any large clumps.
When completely cool, pour the nuts into a bowl, breaking up any that stick together.