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About ApricotKing

Since 1946, the Gonzales family has grown the rare and fabulous California Blenheim apricots. Grown on our Hollister ranch, we continue to be the farmer, pruner, dryer, packer, and seller of the vanishing Blenheim apricot. We produce the best tasting apricots in the world all "Home Grown in the Flavor Zone"!

In addition to our incredible dried apricots, be sure to discover our variety of nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds) and other dried fruits (peaches, pears, prunes, and more). For those who believe less is more, we have dark and delicious unsulfured dried apricots. And don't forget our sweet and tart selection of apricot jams and syrups as well as our decadent chocolate covered fruits and nuts.  Simply delicious! Everything here on the ranch is organically grown.


Patti and Gary Gonzales, Hollister, CA

Real and uncensored reviews about ApricotKing!
Real and uncensored reviews.

ApricotKing's Famous Sugared Walnuts

Sugared walnuts are one of the most heavily asked-for recipes and since the holidays will soon be upon us, it seemed like a good idea to bring this recipe front and center.

In this recipe, you'll be making a simple sugar syrup, cooking it to the softball stage, then adding toasted walnuts. Follow the recipe EXACTLY – I've tried fiddling with it over the years and my fiddling has never improved it. The most likely temptation is toast the walnuts longer than 5 minutes – DON'T! You'll need a candy thermometer and a jelly roll pan or cast iron skillet – something with sides that will go into the oven.

Feel free to double this recipe! One batch just isn't enough!


  • 2 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Butter


  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • small cup or bowl for the pre-measured vanilla
  • Electric mixer
  • Candy thermometer
  • Saucepan
  • Jelly roll pan or cast iron skillet (something with sides that will go into the oven)
  • At least 2 spoons for stirring (one for the candy syrup as it is cooking and another for the walnuts half way through the toasting)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Important! the oven must be at this temperature, so allow time for the warm-up
  2. Measure the walnuts and put them on the pan. Set aside.
  3. Measure vanilla and set aside (do this now...when it is time to add vanilla, you're racing against the syrup cooling).
  4. Butter the insides of the saucepan.
  5. Combine the sugar, salt, water and cinnamon. Cook at medium heat.
  6. When the candy thermometer reads 235 degrees, put the walnuts in the oven and set a time for 5 minutes.
  7. At the 2 1/2 minute mark, stir the walnuts for even toasting.
  8. When the syrup is at about 240 degrees (about 1 minute 15 seconds left on the timer), remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer for about 1 minute.
  9. Set the pan down on the countertop on top of a potholder (this will help keep the heat in and prevent you from having to hold the pan in mid-air while you beat the syrup.)
  10. Add the vanilla, beat briefly, then add the warm walnuts. Stir, stir, stir to coat the walnuts with the syrup.
  11. Pour the walnuts on a platter to cool. When the walnuts are cool, separate them from the platter with an instrument (like a plastic/nylon pancake turner) that will not scratch the platter.
  12. Break into individual pieces.

Notes: In trying to make the syrup come out at the right temperature at the time the walnuts are done, it is preferable to have the syrup hotter than 240 degrees at the end of the process (don't worry if the syrup comes out at 245 or 250 degrees) You don't want it cooler than – you'll end up eating the walnuts with a spoon.