Food on Friday: Awwww…nuts

By Julia Westhoff

Food_on_FridayDo you like walnuts? Me neither. At least, I didn’t think I did. But then I saw this recipe in my favorite hipster journal, Kinfolk, and I was totally captivated (Kinfolk has the ability to make a linen napkin seem like the Pope’s robe – it’s kind of their thing). Anyway, I set about making these little gems immediately, and I haven’t stopped snacking on them. And I learned that walnuts are actually really super good for you. Maybe not quite as much when they’re covered in toffee and dark chocolate, but still. Apparently now is the time to buy them – they’re less bitter in the fall. I’ve kept mine in the freezer, and I grab a handful now and then. Just for the health benefits, obvy.

Dark Chocolate Toffee Walnuts
Recipe from Kinfolk

2 1/2 cups walnuts
1 cup caster or superfine sugar
1 tablespoon water
10.5 ounces dark cooking chocolate
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

You will need to work quickly when making this recipe, so it’s important to have all the ingredients ready.

  1. Arrange the walnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake them in an oven preheated to 350°F/180°C, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a cooling rack and cool walnuts completely, about 20 minutes, prior to using.
  2. Place the toasted walnuts in a bowl and lay out a sheet of baking paper on a work surface or baking sheet. Have a mat, tea towel or some silicone ready for your hot toffee pot, too.
  3. Place the sugar and water in a dry, heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Heat the mixture over low heat and cook, swirling the pot occasionally, until it turns pale golden and syrupy. Turn off the heat, add the walnuts and stir the mixture with a silicone spatula until the walnuts are completely coated. Everything will be extremely hot, so be careful.
  4. With the spatula, scrape the mixture out in batches onto the prepared parchment paper. Don’t panic if they stick together; you can always crack them apart when they cool. Set the candied walnuts aside to cool.
  5. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Place the chocolate in a dry bowl that will fit over the pot. Reduce the heat to low and set the bowl over the pot, making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally, until melted and glossy, taking care not to let any water or liquid into the bowl, as the chocolate will break.
  6. Add the walnuts to the chocolate and stir until they’re lightly coated. Spread out a new sheet of parchment paper and spread the nuts over it. Set aside to cool, preferably in a cold spot. Once the chocolate is set, break up the walnuts. Put your chocolate walnuts into a jar and add the cocoa powder, tossing to coat.