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Oklahoma Nut Candy

Oklahoma Nut Candy Recipe

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Oklahoma Nut Candy, a traditional Southern treat, is a delightful confection that combines the richness of heavy cream, the crunch of nuts, and the sweetness of sugar. This candy is perfect for holiday gatherings, gifts, or simply indulging in a sweet treat. The recipe is straightforward, but the results are incredibly delicious. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through each step of making this classic candy, offer some variations, and answer common questions to ensure your candy turns out perfectly every time.

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Ingredients:

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  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 cups sugar, divided

Instructions:

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  1. Prepare Your Ingredients:
    • Before starting, gather all your ingredients and have them measured and ready to go. This will make the process smoother and ensure you don’t miss any steps.
  2. Heat the Sugar and Cream:
    • In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine 2 cups of sugar and the heavy cream. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved completely.
  3. Boil the Mixture:
    • Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow it to boil without stirring until it reaches 238°F (soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer. This ensures the candy will set properly and have the right texture.
  4. Add Remaining Sugar:
    • Gradually add the remaining 4 cups of sugar to the boiling mixture, stirring constantly. This helps to incorporate the sugar evenly and prevent any lumps.
  5. Incorporate Butter and Baking Soda:
    • Once all the sugar is added and dissolved, reduce the heat to medium. Add the unsalted butter and baking soda, stirring until the butter is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. The baking soda helps to aerate the candy, giving it a light and fluffy texture.
  6. Cook to Hard Ball Stage:
    • Continue to cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 250°F (hard ball stage) on a candy thermometer. This stage is crucial for achieving the perfect texture for your candy.
  7. Remove from Heat:
    • Once the mixture reaches the hard ball stage, remove it from the heat immediately to prevent overcooking.
  8. Add Nuts and Vanilla:
    • Quickly stir in the chopped walnuts or pecans and the vanilla extract until well combined. The nuts add a delightful crunch and the vanilla enhances the flavor of the candy.
  9. Pour into Pan:
    • Pour the mixture into a greased or parchment-lined baking dish, spreading it evenly with a spatula. Allow the candy to cool completely at room temperature. Using parchment paper makes it easier to remove the candy from the pan once it has set.
  10. Cut and Serve:
    • Once the candy is completely cool and set, cut it into small squares or pieces with a sharp knife. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container. Properly stored, the candy can last for up to two weeks.

Cook’s Notes:

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  • Make sure to use a heavy-bottomed saucepan to prevent the mixture from burning.
  • Constantly monitor the temperature with a candy thermometer to ensure accuracy.
  • If you prefer a softer texture, you can cook the mixture to a slightly lower temperature (around 240°F).

Variations:

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  1. Chocolate-Dipped Nut Candy:
    • Once the candy is cut into pieces, dip each piece halfway into melted chocolate and let it set on parchment paper. This adds a decadent chocolate coating to your candy.
  2. Spiced Nut Candy:
    • Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg to the mixture along with the vanilla extract for a warm, spiced flavor.
  3. Nut and Fruit Candy:
    • Add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries or cherries to the mixture along with the nuts for a fruity twist.
  4. Keto-Friendly Nut Candy:
    • Replace the sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener like erythritol or monk fruit sweetener. Ensure all other ingredients are also keto-friendly.
  5. Mixed Nut Candy:
    • Use a combination of different nuts such as almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts for a mixed nut version of this candy.

FAQs:

  1. Can I use different types of nuts?
    • Yes, you can use any type of nuts you prefer, such as almonds, cashews, or a mix of several types.
  2. Why did my candy turn out grainy?
    • Grainy candy is usually a result of undissolved sugar. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved before reaching the soft ball stage and avoid stirring the mixture too much while it boils.
  3. Can I make this candy without a candy thermometer?
    • While it’s possible to make candy without a thermometer, it’s much easier and more reliable to use one. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the candy by dropping a small amount into cold water to see if it forms a soft or hard ball.
  4. How do I store leftover candy?
    • Store leftover candy in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. For longer storage, you can freeze the candy for up to three months.
  5. Can I add other flavorings to this candy?
    • Yes, you can experiment with different extracts like almond, maple, or coconut to add unique flavors to your candy.

Oklahoma Nut Candy is a delightful treat that brings together the richness of cream and butter with the crunch of nuts and the sweetness of sugar. This traditional Southern candy is perfect for any occasion and can be customized with different nuts and flavorings to suit your preferences. Whether you’re making it for a holiday gathering, as a gift, or simply to satisfy your sweet tooth, this candy is sure to impress. Follow the steps carefully, and enjoy the process of making this classic confection. Happy candy-making!

Feel free to include step-by-step photos or a video tutorial to enhance the visual appeal of your blog post. Enjoy your sweet creation

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