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The science behind candied nut recipes?

Shrinkrap | Dec 19, 201309:08 PM

Many years ago I made what I thought was the perfect candied pecan recipe for my tastes, most likely from Gourmet, but have never found the same one again. I have seen and tried many, and have a collection of recipes, but can't figure out exactly which one I want to make my own. I know I like sweet-salty-and pretty spicy. I like cumin, I like chipotle powder, I like five spice powder for heat. This year I might try ras el hanout, or quatre epices I got in France last June. I don't make much candy, but I think those who do have a handle on this;

Some methods call for boiling equal amounts of water with sugar, adding nuts and spices, then baking in the oven at 375. These come closes to what I think I'm looking for. Keep two weeks.

Some use equal amounts of butter and sugar, bake in a 300 degree oven. I think these end up greasy. Keep 5 days.

One uses olive oil, honey and sugar, along with spices; nuts mixed in and cooked for 6 minutes. No baking. I think these turn out too sticky, and only keep 3 days.

Another uses honey and sugar, no oil, bakes at 350. Not sure I like the honey.

Then there are the ones with egg whites. Not the ones I remember, and seem like too much work, too much coating.

Can anyone explain how to think about these recipe variations?

I know there are threads here, and I will link them.

There is a Lebovitz link in this one.

One from Chow that got no love; not enough sugar?

This one mentions an Eipcurious recipe that includes corn syrup. I forgot about the corn syrup variation! Less crystallization?

More mention of corn syrup, but not why. "Glazed" vs "candied"? Stove-top vs oven?

One with links to other threads; "All these great links begs a another question...Is there a difference between GLAZED nuts, SUGARED nuts and CANDIED nuts?"

A trouble shooting thread

Same question 10 years ago. "Candied Walnuts - how do you make them?" One suggestion was

1# pecans or walnuts
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp white vinegar!

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