Candied Peanuts

Turn the humble peanut into a star-worthy snack.

Candied Peanuts
Photo:

Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Active Time:
20 mins
Stand Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 50 mins
Yield:
6 cups

Perfect for gifting in decorative jars or setting out on a table for hungry guests to graze on, Candied Peanuts are an easy holiday treat to have at the ready. If you don’t count water, this recipe requires only two ingredients: sugar and peanuts. That said, let this recipe serve as a starting point for as many variations as you can dream of, from adding the warm flavor of pumpkin pie spice, or leaning savory by adding a touch of cayenne into the mix.

An easy addition to the recipe is a sprinkle of flaky salt while cooling; The hint of salt helps balance the peanuts’ sweetness. You could also swap white sugar for brown, to add even more toffee and caramel flavor to this treat.

Although this recipe is a great snack on its own, it also makes a sweet crunchy topping on a cake or salad, and would make a fun addition to a charcuterie board. 

While this recipe only requires 20 minutes of hands-on cooking and a few ingredients, it does involve working with hot sugar, which can be tricky. One piece of advice we have is that when cooking the peanuts on the stovetop, it’s normal for the mixture to get very foamy as the water evaporates and the sugar crystallizes, but it’s important to keep stirring, especially as you near the end of the cooking time.

Unlike most recipes involving hot sugar, you want the granulated sugar to crystallize, forming a crunchy exterior on the peanuts once baked, but you don’t want to let the foam boil over and create a giant mess.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • 4 cups raw blanched peanuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place granulated sugar and water in a medium saucepan; cook over medium, stirring often, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Add raw blanched peanuts, and cook, stirring often, until liquid evaporates and sugar crystallizes around peanuts, 14 to 16 minutes.

  3. Spread in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until peanuts are roasted and dry, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool completely on baking sheet, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.

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