This spiced walnuts recipe is my latest discovery. A real breakthrough since it is quick and easy and the result qualifies as an unusual yet delicious desert or snack.

Recently a friend gave me a REALLY big bag of walnuts and since it’s important not to be wasteful, I needed to figure out what to do with them.

Not being that much of a “walnut person” I wanted a recipe that would be a good make-ahead cocktail snack or a nice hostess gifts and could be something to share with others. After all a big part of cooking is the joy of sharing, cooking in batches makes it easy.


  • 4 c walnuts
  • ½ c sugar
  • ¼ c water
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t black pepper
  • ½ t salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet.
  2. Heat sugar, water, thyme and black pepper in sauce pan over high heat. Mixture should be thick and syrupy. Lower heat, add walnuts and cook for about four minutes.
  3. Spread nut mixture onto baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes. Start checking after 10 minutes or so as these can burn quickly (that’s the voice of experience speaking).


Feel free to try different combinations of spices. I like heat from pepper or chilis along with herbal notes, but you could also go more on the sweet side using anise, nutmeg, or other spices traditionally used in dessert cooking.