I made this walnut recipe as a part of a snack-set for Chinese New Year, along with chewy cubes of baked new year cake and buttery sesame sable cookies. The walnuts disappeared within minutes of being served. I bet they would also go nicely alongside a cheese plate, or crumbled atop a salad.
Candied Sesame Walnuts
Adapted from All Recipes. Makes a small snack for 2.
1-1/4 cups (100g) shelled walnut halves
vegetable oil for deep-frying, enough for 2 inches of oil in a small sauce pot
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp raw sesame seeds, toasted for 5 mins at 350F
a pinch or two of kosher salt
Fill a small pot with a few inches of water, and bring to a boil. Add walnuts, and boil for 2 minutes. Drain walnuts using a strainer, and place in a medium-sized bowl. While the walnuts are still hot, toss with sugar to coat.
Clean the small pot, and wipe dry. Fill with 2 inches of vegetable oil, and turn up to medium-high heat. Wait until the temperature reaches 350F; alternatively if you don't have a candy thermometer to check the temperature, put one walnut into the oil as a test. If the oil is hot enough, it will bubble furiously when the test walnut is added. When the oil is hot enough, place the nuts into the oil, being careful not to splash the hot oil. Wait 3 minutes, and then check the colour of the walnuts for doneness. If the walnuts are just turning a medium brown colour, they are ready. If they still look pale, keep them in for another minute or two, checking constantly to avoid burning.
Once the walnuts are nicely browned, remove them with a slotted spoon and place into a clean strainer over a bowl. Shake for a few seconds to remove excess oil, and pour the walnuts into a separate clean bowl. Toss with salt and sesame seeds while they are still hot. Cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.