Caramelized Candied Peanuts Recipe

Candied peanuts

The Spruce

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 2 cups (8 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
304 Calories
18g Fat
31g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 cups (8 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 304
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 44mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 9g
Calcium 35mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sugar coated candied peanuts (or caramelized peanuts) are a popular snack food in many countries. It's really no wonder! They're crunchy, sweet, and very satisfying, especially when they're freshly made.

This is one of the best snacks you will find in Morocco and a specialty of many street vendors. There's no need to travel, though. You'll be pleased to know that caramelized peanuts are fairly easy to make at home. The only secret to success is to be patient and work over a low heat to avoid burning the sugar as it caramelizes.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups peanuts (raw with skin)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Optional: 1 to 2 pinches coarse salt 
  • Optional: splash orange flower water (or rose water)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for candied peanuts
    The Spruce 
  2. Line a large baking sheet or pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Set aside. 

    Line baking tray
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  3. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, combine the peanuts, sugar, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens into a syrup.

    Combine peanut, sugar, and water
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  4. Continue cooking and stirring for about 10 minutes, or until the liquids evaporate and a sandy-textured sugar mixture coats the peanuts.

    Continue cooking
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  5. Lower the heat a bit and continue stirring as the excess sugar in the pan begins to melt. This will take several minutes. Once the syrup begins to form, it will change in color from clear to golden to amber. Stir constantly, and be careful that the heat is not so high as to burn or darken the syrup too much.

    Continue cooking
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  6. When the syrup is a light-to-medium-amber color and the sugary coating on the peanuts has glazed, remove the skillet from the heat.

    Remove from heat
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  7. Sprinkle the salt and orange flower water (if using) over the peanuts and stir.

    Sprinkle with salt and orange blossom
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  8. Turn the peanuts out onto your prepared pan and quickly spread them in a single layer. Allow them to cool and harden before serving. 

    Put peanuts on tray
    The Spruce
  9. Be sure the caramelized peanuts have cooled completely before storing in an airtight container.

Caramelized Peanuts in Morocco

In Morocco, caramelized peanuts are sold as a snack food by street vendors and small shops which also offer roasted hummus, nuts, sunflower seeds, and other treats. In Ramadan, a vendor who sells candied peanuts near my home after night prayers makes them on the spot from his cart. He likes to add a little orange flower water or rose water for a unique touch.

Snacks such as these are often purchased in very small quantities in Morocco. The handful of nuts is carried home, sometimes still warm, in cones or packets quickly fashioned from scraps of paper.

Sometimes, the paper is torn from discarded school notebooks or workbooks. It's a perfectly efficient packaging for the peanuts and a great way to recycle paper. On more than one occasion we've challenged our kids to some of the exercises found on those papers.