Lavender-Rosemary Candied Walnuts
2 cups walnut halves
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon dried culinary "Provence" lavender buds, crushed with a mortar and pestle (see note)
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter a rimmed baking sheet and spread the walnuts in it.
Bake for 5 minutes, stirring once, until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, cinnamon, and salt.
Over medium heat, boil without stirring until the mixture reads 238 degrees F (soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer.
Remove from the heat and stir in the lavender, rosemary, and walnuts. Work quickly and stir gently until all the nuts are coated.
Transfer nuts to the buttered baking sheet and spread them in an even layer, separating them with two buttered forks.
Cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in a heavy plastic bag in the freezer.
NOTE: By crushing the lavender in a mortar and pestle instead of a spice grinder, you can release the essential oils and still keep the buds partially intact.
This gives the nuts more visual appeal, because you can see the bits of lavender flowers in the sugar coating.
MY RECO: After mixing the nuts in the sugar, cool them evenly on a wire rack over the baking sheet so the excess sugar can drain.
Otherwise when it cools there will be a layer of caked sugar on the bottom side where the walnuts had rested...less pretty :)
Pairs Well With
We made these in pastry class at the French Culinary Institute and used individual walnuts as the savory topping to walnut financiers during our session on petits fours.
From The Lavender Cookbook:
Rosemary's Spiced Lavender Walnuts
Lovely when wrapped in small gift bags with pretty ribbon, as wedding or party favors, or holiday gifts.