For quick and easy candied walnuts, gather 1 cup of walnut halves or pieces, 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of butter. Select a non-stick skillet for cooking the walnuts on the stovetop. The cooking and cooling phases of the preparation take five to seven minutes each.
Bring the skillet to medium heat, and add all the ingredients, keeping the temperature constant. Be sure to stir the mixture constantly, as sugar caramelizes quickly and can burn. Additionally, when the sugar starts melting, make sure to stir so that all the walnuts are coated with the reduction on every side.
When the five minutes on the stove are up, immediately transfer the candied walnuts to a piece of parchment or wax paper. Quickly separate the individual nuts to prevent them clumping together into an undesirable mass. Using two spatulas for this step makes the process easier. It is especially important to let the walnuts cool at this stage, as this is when the candied shells around them harden.
Test the firmness of the shell by working a test sample in your fingers after it has cooled. Serve the candied walnuts on ice cream, salads or as a snack.