Maple Glazed Walnuts Recipe
Perfect for a snack, topping a salad, or embellishing a dessert, these 5 minute, 4 ingredient maple glazed walnuts are easy and delicious for fall – or year round!
Late September. Fall is in the air. The crisp crunch of leaves on the ground, a chilly breeze, a cup of warm tea.
Wait. Scratch that. More like: late September. It’s blisteringly hot outside. The drip of sweat down the back of your neck, seeking the shady spot at the playground, coming home to an ice cold popsicle.
Nevermind the heat, we’re here to talk about something decidedly fall related today: maple glazed walnuts. Although to be honest, despite the fall flavors, I find these are actually a year-round staple in our house.
Not only are they the perfect just-slightly-sweet after dinner treat, I love adding them to savory dishes as well. These maple glazed walnuts wind up in our salads, tossed with our roasted brussels sprouts, and piled on top of baked brie.
They also (obviously) work perfectly with desserts. In fact, I just might have a recipe coming for you later this week, featuring these very same maple glazed walnuts… (update: it’s this maple walnut bundt cake!).
How to Make Maple Glazed Walnuts
There are two ways to make typical candied walnuts (and I’m a fan of both). Option one: melted butter + sugar. Option two: maple syrup. Given that the title of this post is maple glazed walnuts, you probably have a good guess which way we’re going to describe today.
“Natural” sweeteners, like maples syrup, have become especially trendy lately. Fueled in part by the paleo crazy, there’s a lot of thought that natural sugars are better for you (less terrible?) than refined sugars.
I’m not going to weigh in on whether or not there is any truth to that line of thought, but I will say this: the maple flavor is delicious. Also, unlike typical candied nuts, these are vegan – a perfect party snack for your animal product-free friends.
These 4 ingredient, 5 minute maple glazed walnuts seriously could not get any easier. Add the nuts, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to a pan and heat. Push the nuts around with the spatula until the syrup coats the nuts and there is very little excess left in the bottom of the pan. Transfer to wax paper or parchment paper to dry, and sprinkle with a little salt.
I do find that these get a little stickier than candied nuts made with granulated sugar, so they need a little extra drying time. I usually like to leave mine out overnight to make sure there’s no residual stickiness. If you’re in a time crunch, an hour or two is totally sufficient, though.
And let’s be honest – there are worse problems than having to eat several pieces of stuck together maple glazed walnuts at once.
How to Use Maple Glazed Walnuts
My favorite method: eat with your fingers. No really, these are the best after-dinner snack, when you want something a little sweet, but not a full on dessert. So good.
Add them to a cheese or charcuterie board. Fancy cheeses, crackers, fruit, smoked meat, maybe even some of these two ingredient sugared cranberries, and a pile of maple glazed walnuts.
Add some on top of this Jewish apple cake, flourless chocolate tahini cake, or cranberry orange streusel muffins. Swap out the regular walnuts for maple glazed walnuts in this rocky road banana bread or add some to this maple glazed banana bread.
Or use it in these two recipes, which specifically call for maple glazed walnuts:
- 2 cups walnuts, halved or chopped
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add the walnuts, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Cook, stirring frequently, until syrup begins to caramelize and coats the nuts, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle with salt, stir, and spread on parchment paper to cool.
Maple glazed walnuts will keep in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.