While the chef was out today, I strayed into the kitchen to take advantage of a bag of fresh walnuts we got on our drive back from Orange. I made a sour cream based caramel and toasted the walnuts a bit first for extra crunch and these are the resulting Toasted Walnut Caramels.
*Preheat oven to 180°C. Use middle rack in oven. Lay walnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about five minutes. Taste them, and check they are toasted enough, if not, toast for one or two more minutes. Be careful not to burn. Remove from oven and leave to the side.
* In a small, thick-bottomed saucepan, mix together and heat the one third of a cup of sour cream, half a teaspoon of salt, two tablespoons of milk, and thee quarters of a cup of sugar. Heat until the temperature reads 238°F on a candy thermometer, stirring occasionally.
* Add the walnuts and a teaspoon of vanilla. Stir until the walnuts are creamy. Remove pan from heat and spread the walnuts out on wax paper, you'll need to work quickly and separate using two forks if necessary. Let cool to harden.
They are excellent, if I do say so myself. Crunchy, chewy and you look for the next one quickly...