Caramel Walnuts

Walnut candy, made with walnut halves coated with a homemade caramel candy sauce.

  • 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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  • Daisy

    Came out delis, only thing I did different is I added 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter because I love a buttery caramel.

  • Kris

    can these be made ahead of time and frozen? I’d like to make them for gifts

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Kris, great question. I haven’t tried freezing them but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work.

  • Lady Amalthea

    These look amazing. How necessary is a candy thermometer?

  • 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.

    • Carrie Lindeman

      I tried, came out a little lumpy, but still delicious!!!! Hardly cooled, stolen by little fingers:)

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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 “.

  • 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!

  • Elise Bauer

    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”.

  • 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.

  • Becky

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

  • Erwin

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

  • smin

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