Have you ever had vanilla ice cream with walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup?
For whatever reason, I’ve been craving the combination for a few weeks. Daffodils are blooming, birds are singing, everyone’s outside, and my subconscious has decided it is summer. Now. With ice cream, thank you very much.
My subconscious was clamouring particularly loudly the other day as I was attempting to write a paper. Don’t think about Vergil, it whined, think about me! Think about taking a walk to the grocery store and buying a pint of cream so you can sit on the balcony in the sun with a velvety scoop of walnut-studded sweetness!
No, I told my subconscious firmly. Vergil comes first; we’ll see about ice cream on April 27th, when all this is over.
My subconscious pouted and made puppy eyes at me.
In the interests of preserving both my sanity and my GPA, I came up with a swift compromise: candied maple vanilla walnuts. A fifteen minute break from paper writing was enough to give me a jar full of a snack that captures at least some of the flavours of vanilla ice cream with walnuts and maple syrup. They are also a wonderful discovery in their own right, tasty as a snack or on top of salads with a balsamic vinaigrette.
(They would even, I’d wager, be delicious with a bowl of vanilla ice cream. But I’m trying not to think about that right now.)
Maple Vanilla Walnuts
- 1/4 C maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 C walnut halves and pieces
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring constantly, until the maple syrup crystallizes and starts to look sandy. Take it off the instant you smell anything burning, preferably a few instants before. Spread the walnuts on a piece of parchment paper to cool.
Makes 1 1/2 C.