Our grandma, “Gommie”, made these nuts for many years. We’ve found two slightly different variations of the recipe, both in her own handwriting. One calls for a little more nuts than the other. I give them away at Christmas or as little gifts throughout the year, and they’re always a huge hit. Recently, a happy recipient referred to them as “little nuggets of gold” and said he could not stop eating them.
After making them many times, I now use almost twice the amount of walnuts called for in the recipe, a total of almost 4 cups. A lot of the syrup falls to the bottom of the pan anyway and may as well be used to coat additional nuts. Or, you might like a thicker coating of syrup, in which case use fewer nuts or the amount called for in the recipe. Experiment by adding each additional cup one at a time, but work quickly before the syrup hardens.
1-1/2 C sugar
1/4 C orange juice (if possible, use fresh squeezed)
1/4 C water
1 tsp grated orange zest
2 C walnut halves
Pour nuts into large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with orange zest.
Combine sugar, orange juice, and water in saucepan; cook to softball stage (234F).
Remove from heat. Pour over nuts, and quickly mix well until the syrup becomes cloudy and hard to stir. Quickly turn out onto waxed paper or buttered cookie sheet.
Separate into small clusters with 2 forks.
Makes 3 cups.