asked so sweetly, here's a holiday tradition that my son and I used to share. The original recipe is from The Karo Cookbook, which I bought back in the eighties. Opening it up is nostalgic because you can tell by the stains on the pages which ones we've loved the most. I've always used pecans for this, but I see now that the recipe is actually called "Spiced Sugared Nuts" and you can swap out your favorites.
Spiced Sugared Nuts
1 cup sugar
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup Karo light corn syrup
2 cups walnut or pecan halves
1 teaspoon vanilla
Grease a 15 1/2 X 10 1/2 X 1-inch jelly roll pan. In heavy 2-quart saucepan stir together sugar, water, corn syrup, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture boils. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until temperature reaches 235 degrees F on a candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water forms a soft ball which flattens on removal from water. Remove from heat. Add nuts and vanilla. Stir until mixture begins to thicken and gets light in color. **Pour onto prepared pan. Working quickly with two forks separate nuts into individual pieces. Cool. Store in tightly covered container. Makes about 1 pound.
*We always liked ours spicier still, so I use 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of allspice.
**I skipped the pan, sanitized the kitchen counter, then greased it for the separating process, just like they do in a candy kitchen. Careful not to damage the counter with the fork tines!
Candied walnuts: Follow recipe for Spiced Sugared Nuts. Omit cinnamon, allspice and vanilla. Use 2 cups of walnut halves and 1 teaspoon rum extract with walnuts.
We used to make these every year. I say "we" because they're too hard to make alone. It took two of us, with two forks each, to separate the nuts quickly before they solidified into one big clump. Rumor has it that you can re-heat them when that happens, but I've never tried to make them alone, so I'm not sure. I'm considering tackling it as a solo project this year, so we'll see how it goes.
I love the old brand name cookbooks for really basic ingredients that can be used in a lot of ways. The Karo one is my alltime favorite, but I also have Bisquick and some others around here somewhere. Buried under the clutter, I'm sure.
The photo above is from this current eBay listing,
so you might be able to get your very own Karo cook book if you hurry.
Labels: Christmas, food, holiday traditions