Candied Nuts

"Sloey the mousebabe filled her apron pockets with candied nuts and dashed off with the other Dibbuns to play hide-and-seek."
-The Long Patrol, p. 192

These crunchy, vanilla-spiced nuts are a great on-the-go snack, as Sloey proved :)

A few years when I had a Redwall feast, I sewed small pouches, filled them with candied nuts, tied them shut with ribbon and gave them out as party favors. 

They're quick, easy, and any nut can be used - chestnuts and hazelnuts are Redwall favorites, but today I used almonds. 

Candied Nuts
Makes 1 cup of nuts

-2 Tbsp. water
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
-1 cup raw nuts 

1. Combine water, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is boiling (this will only take a short time). 

2. Add the nuts to the pan and stir to coat. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. After two minutes have passed, stir vigorously. The sugar will begin to crystallize on the nuts. It will go from a thick, caramel-y stage to a dusty-looking stage. When it just reaches this 'dusty' stage, remove pan from heat and continue to stir vigorously for about 30 seconds. Place nuts on a plate and allow to cool completely before enjoying. 

Note: I made this recipe with 1 1/2 cups of almonds, but decided they needed more coating and changed the recipe to 1 cup nuts. Therefore, nuts made with this recipe will be slightly more coated than those pictured.