With the holidays soon to be upon us, baking will be in full force. Both baking and meal preparation recipes often call for toasted walnuts. When toasted, walnuts not only have a crisper texture but their flavor is deepened making them more nutty and complex. There are two basic ways to toast walnuts. This post will deal with oven toasting which is great for both large and small batches of walnuts.
Walnuts are available year round in the produce section or snacking and baking aisle of your local grocery outlet or club store. Walnuts come in either the shelled or in shell form. Shelled walnuts are available as halves, halves and pieces, pieces or chopped. You want the shelled walnut halves.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Do not chop or mince the walnut halves before toasting. Leave them in the half nut form. Place the walnut halves in a single layer in an ungreased, shallow pan or a rimmed cookie sheet in order to prevent them from jumping ship and landing on the counter or floor. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the nuts are golden brown. Stir or shake the pan during the toasting process in order to aid in their browning evenly. Be careful as to not burn the walnuts as even the squirrels won’t like them when you toss them out. Remove the pan to cool when the walnuts reach the golden brown point. Remember, that like a lot of other foods, walnuts will continue to brown slightly after they are removed from the oven. If desired, sprinkle with salt when cool.
Keep your fork