Caramel Walnuts

These homemade, candied caramel walnuts are a little sticky, and a little chewy, but oh so good.

Caramel Walnuts Recipe

  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2 cups candied walnuts.


  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups of walnut halves
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


1 In a small, thick-bottomed saucepan, mix together and heat the sour cream, salt, milk, and sugar. Heat until the temperature reads 240°F on a candy thermometer, stirring occasionally.

2 Add the walnuts and a teaspoon of vanilla. Stir until the walnuts are creamy. Remove pan from heat and spread the walnuts out on wax paper or Silpat. Separate using 2 forks if necessary. Let cool to harden.

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  1. smin

    I don’t have a candy thermometer. when do I stop cooking the sugar mixture?

  2. Erwin

    Mmmm, this sound tasty! What does the sour cream do, exactly?

  3. Becky

    If you cooked the sour cream at that high of a temperature wouldnt it curdle?

  4. Lisa

    Ok, am I stupid or what, but what do you mean with “1 teaspoon of vanilla”? All I know is that vanilla comes in seeds from pods, or in essence or as sugar. Is this an American thing?
    Please please enlighten me…, ’cause I would really love to make these.

  5. Elise

    Hi Erwin and Becky, I don’t know why the sour cream works, but it just does.

    Hi Lisa, You can safely assume that when you see a recipe (especially one that is clearly American – using cups instead of metric measurements) that calls for vanilla, we mean vanilla “extract”.

  6. Kindli

    These turned out fantistically! They’re so yummy (and addictive, can’t eat just one). I was quite pleased (and a little shocked) they turned out so well… I’ve had mixed luck with caramels in the past, but this time it worked out great!! Thanks for the wonderful (and fairly straight forward) recipes!

  7. mishmish

    Hi Lisa …, you can buy Vanilla not only as pods but also liquid ” Vanilla Extract” if you couldn’t find it you can use vanilla powder “vanilla sugar “.

  8. Jessica

    I just finished making these and they turned out beautifully! The end product looks and tastes deceptively labor intensive, but the recipe was so quick and simple. I look forward to adapting this recipe to some different additions. Also, while I don’t think it made a difference, I used a digital meat thermometer rather than one specifically for candy. They still turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. denise

    Does anyone have any thoughts on substituting plain yogurt for sour cream? I haven’t tried this recipe but it looks easy and very tasty

  10. Jurgens

    Has anyone tried using brown sugar? What are your results? I am debating whether or not to try it with regular or brown sugar tonight.

  11. Lady Amalthea

    These look amazing. How necessary is a candy thermometer?

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