Yield: 2 cups
Whether you give these sweet, crunchy nuts as a holiday gift or simply snack on them at home, they are sure to be a favorite!
Stir honey, sugar and butter together in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil and cook, covered, approximately 3 minutes, as steam washes down inside pan. (If adding flavoring, do so once the sugar dissolves.)
Uncover and cook without stirring until it almost reaches the hard-crack stage, registering just less than 290° F on a candy thermometer. (If you don't have a candy thermometer, consult a cookbook and follow directions to check for the hard-crack stage by dripping hot syrup into cold water.)
Once syrup reaches this stage, remove from the heat at once and toss immediately with toasted walnuts, using two wooden spoons. Continue tossing gently until syrup coats the nuts and hardens. The nuts should separate.
Place nuts on a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper to cool. Once cool, after 20 minutes or so, pack into lightly lidded containers, lined with parchment paper or waxed paper to keep honeyed nuts crisp and crunchy. Or simply devour the same day!
Option: For Honeyed Popcorn Treats, toss honey syrup with 5 or 6 cups popcorn. Lightly butter your hands and form small balls. You may add a couple drops of food coloring for festive popcorn balls.