Candied hazelnuts are a beautiful garnish for baked goods, and can also be served alone as a finger food or snack. Roasted hazelnuts are covered in a sweet cinnamon candy coating.
Candied hazelnuts are a fun, easy recipe that can be made in just a few minutes on the stove top. Plus, all you need are a handful of simple ingredients.
If you're starting with raw or blanched hazelnuts, you'll want to give them a quick roast in the oven first. Roasting brings out their nutty, fragrant flavor.
Then, you'll candy your roasted hazelnuts on the stovetop with brown sugar and cinnamon. A hint of cinnamon gives these hazelnuts a warm, fall flavor, but they can be enjoyed year round.
What can you do with candied hazelnuts? They can be used as a crunchy salad topping, for snacking, or as a nutty addition to your next charcuterie board. They're perfect for adding to your Thanksgiving and Christmas appetizer tables.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Hazelnuts - Hazelnuts should be roasted and unsalted. If your hazelnuts are raw or blanched, you'll want to roast them in the oven first (I've included directions in the recipe card notes). If your hazelnuts are salted, simply omit the salt listed in the recipe. You're welcome to substitute hazelnuts with your favorite type of nut - my other favorite is making candied pecans on the stovetop.
- Brown sugar - Light or dark brown sugar works best in this recipe. I do not recommend substituting the brown sugar with other sugars. We tested with granulated sugar, but prefer the caramelized flavor and color that brown sugar adds to the recipe.
- Cinnamon - Optional, but adds a warm flavor that complements the nuttiness of the hazelnuts.
- Salt - Can be omitted if using salted nuts. Salt helps cut the sweetness and enhance the flavor of the candied hazelnuts.
Raw vs. blanched vs. roasted hazelnuts
So, what type of hazelnuts do you need for this recipe? Any type of hazelnuts will work, whether raw, blanched, or roasted. However, you may need to do some additional prep work before candying them.
I used roasted, unsalted hazelnuts, which you can find on Amazon: AZNUT Roasted Unsalted Hazelnuts
If using raw or blanched hazelnuts, or roasted hazelnuts that are no longer fragrant, you will want to add the step of lightly roasting your hazelnuts to bring out their natural flavor. This can be done in a few ways.
How to roast hazelnuts
In the oven: Preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread nuts onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned. You'll want to check your nuts halfway through to make sure they're roasting evenly.
On the stovetop: In a skillet over medium heat, add your nuts (do not add any additional oil - your nuts will not stick to the pan). Cook until nuts are hot and fragrant, stirring occasionally. This should take up to 5 minutes.
No matter which method you use, do not walk away! Your nuts can easily go from browning to burnt in an instant.
If your hazelnuts still have their skins - try to remove as much as possible before candying them. Pour your roasted hazelnuts into a tea towel and rub them with the towel. The skins should fall right off.
Can I make this with other nuts?
Yes! This recipe works well with just about any nuts you have on hand. A few of my favorite substitutes:
- Mixed Nuts
Keep in mind that no matter the type of nut you use, you'll want to roast them (see the section above on roasting) if they're not already roasted. You'll also want to choose an unsalted nut, or omit the salt from the recipe below.
Ways to use candied hazelnuts
Candied hazelnuts have a variety of uses. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Serve in a bowl on an appetizer table
- Salad topping
- Cupcake or cake garnish
- Charcuterie tray
- Add to trail mix or Chex mix
- Sweet potato casserole topping
- Great for snacking as is!
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup hazelnuts, roasted and unsalted
- In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and water. Stir until combined and melted.
- Add hazelnuts and stir to coat. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until mixture reduces slightly and hazelnuts look sticky.
- Pour nuts onto a sheet of parchment and spread into a single layer. Allow to cool. Store in a sealed container until ready to use.
- If you have raw or blanched hazelnuts, or roasted hazelnuts that are not fragrant, you will want to roast them before candying.
- To roast in the oven: Preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread nuts onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned. Check your nuts halfway through to make sure they're roasting evenly.
- To roast on the stovetop: In a skillet over medium heat, add your nuts (do not add any additional oil - your nuts will not stick to the pan). Cook until nuts are hot and fragrant, stirring occasionally. This should take up to 5 minutes.
- Candied nuts will keep for up to a week in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.