Christmas treats

auntie julie’s candied walnuts

by jani on December 21, 2012

These candied walnuts are a super quick  and easy treat; they only take about 15 minutes to make… and there are only five ingredients!

candied walnuts 9

I loved my Auntie Julie. She was perfect in every way. She was always stylish, had an adorable laugh and was so kind. She was also one of the best cooks I ever met! My Auntie Julie had been widowed during  WWII, when she was pregnant with her twin girls. She married my mom’s bachelor brother when the twins were five years old and I became the instant cousin of twins. It was so cool. Never did I realize that we would be blessed as well with twin girls one day!

Each year at Christmas,  Auntie Julie brought us an amazing cookie plate . Oh, how I looked forward to that plate and especially her cinnamon candied walnuts! I devoured as many as I could. So, in my adult years, I asked my aunt for the recipe. Below is a picture of Auntie Julie and Uncle Herbie as well as the original recipe that she gave me back in 1973!

candied walnuts Collage 1


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1-5 oz can of evaporated milk
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups walnut halves

Mix first four ingredients in large saucepan. Boil until soft ball stage (it will be foamy; drop a tiny bit into cold water, if it solidifies, but is still soft, it’s ready). Remove from heat. Add 1 tsp vanilla and approximately 4 cups walnut halves (or enough walnuts to absorb most of the liquid, as in photo below). Stir until mixture hardens (turns a bit white and dry). Turn out onto waxed paper and separate nut halves when cool enough to handle.

candied walnuts Collage 2

It will only take a few minutes before you can separate the walnut halves. You need to do this with a spatula while they are still warm. Let them completely dry on the waxed paper.

candied walnuts 10

Once dried, they are ready to add to your cookie plate!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have – as I’ve carried on my Auntie Julie’s tradition of cookie plates for my neighbors and loved ones! Happy holidays to all!