Today we’re going to be making walnut bites, a fun and healthy party snack utilizing the benefits of walnuts, honey, and dark chocolate. This recipe uses only a few simple ingredients that many of us already have in our pantry.
These walnut bites are a great intro to candy making. The only cooking required is to melt the chocolate so it’s very beginner friendly. While it does require time to chill, this recipe comes together easily. What I love the most about this recipe is that it’s customizable. You can change the flavor up by experimenting with different nuts and decorate them to your heart’s content.
I grew up making homemade candies over the holidays with my grandmother and cousins. We’d make caramel squares, chocolate turtles, peanut clusters, and of course, walnut bites. My favorite part was pouring chocolate into molds and adding finishing touches.
If you’re looking for a fun activity for the whole family, this is a great place to start. You can create something together and, in the end, you have a nice treat that you can feel good about giving to your kids.
- Walnuts- Any roasted nuts should work for this recipe, but I find the classic combination of walnuts and honey to be delightful.
- Honey- Honey is a flavorful alternative to cane sugar and the sticky texture will help bind these walnut bites together.
- Vanilla Extract- There’s no replacing this pantry staple but if you’re in the mood to try something new you can experiment with different flavored extracts to change the flavor.
- Dark Chocolate -Dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa provides a surprising amount of nutrients and can potentially reduce the risk of heart disease. But if you don’t have dark chocolate on hand, semi-sweet chocolate is a perfect replacement.
- White Chocolate- This will provide a beautiful white topping to the finished bites but can easily be replaced with more dark chocolate if you’re out of white or want to prioritize dark chocolate’s health benefits.
What are the health benefits of walnuts and honey?
A small serving of about 7 walnuts packs a big nutritional punch, filled with calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and folate. They also contain polyunsaturated fats high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your overall cholesterol and help prevent heart disease. Top top it all off, walnuts contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Honey, specifically raw or unpasteurized honey, has been shown to have a wide range of potential health benefits. A 2017 review of studies indicates that raw honey contains phytochemical, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties that can aid in the management of many disease conditions, including cancer. It also contains nine different vitamins and minerals, as well as amino acids and enzymes. It should be noted that honey should never be fed to an infant under one year old as they are at risk of botulism poisoning.
How can I customize this recipe?
These walnut bites have a ton of potential to be customized to your preferences. You can swap out the walnuts for any kind of nut. If you’re allergic to tree nuts, peanuts would work great, giving you a homemade peanut butter cup flavor. Pistachios would also be especially delicious.
The decoration is an easy way to customize this recipe. You could create a chocolate drizzle on top of the finished candies using dark or white chocolate. Colorful candy melts can also be used to craft any design of your choice. While the chocolate topcoat is still warm, try adding sprinkles, whole nuts, or dried fruit. The sky’s the limit.
The first step is always to set out and measure your ingredients. Then, in a food processor, grind walnuts. You’ll want to keep an eye on this. They should be ground finely to resemble the texture of sand but not to the point that a nut butter starts to form.
Transfer ground walnuts to a bowl and add the vanilla and honey. Mix well until you get a solid dough. For this step, I’d recommend kneading the mixture together with washed hands, but you can use a spatula if you’d prefer.
Line an 8×8 pan or Pyrex glass container with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray or apply a thin layer of butter. This is an optional step, but it will provide extra protection against the dough sticking to the parchment.
Transfer the dough into the lined pan and flatten it evenly. In a separate bowl, melt the semi-sweet or dark chocolate by microwaving and stirring it on thirty second intervals or in a double boiler. Once melted, spread it over the walnut layer and refrigerate for at least for 4 hours.
Flip the walnut mixture over on a cutting board, so that the bottom is now the top, and cut into 1×1 squares or your shape of choice. Melt the white chocolate using the same method of choice as the dark chocolate and spread it over the walnut squares. Decorate it with any ingredients of your choice. I like to place a single whole walnut on top of each square.
Walnut Bites Recipe
First, gather your ingredients:
- 2 cups walnuts
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate or semi-sweet
- 1 cup white chocolate
- In a food processor grind walnuts.
- Transfer ground walnuts to a bowl, then add vanilla and honey.
- Mix well until you get a solid dough.
- Transfer dough to an 8×8 pan or Pyrex glass container lined with greased parchment paper and flatten it evenly.
- In a separate bowl, melt the semi-sweet or dark chocolate and spread it over the walnut layer.
- Refrigerate for at least for 4 hours.
- Flip the walnut mixture over on a cutting board, so that the bottom is now the top, and cut into 1×1 squares or your shape of choice.
- Melt the white chocolate and spread it over the walnut squares.
- Decorate it with any nuts of your preference.
What to serve with walnut bites
As a snack these walnut bites are perfect to eat by themselves. But if you’re hosting a party, I would recommend serving these with a baked brie. The combination of walnuts, honey, and brie is incredible and sure to be a hit. Don’t be intimidated by the process of throwing a small wheel of cheese in the oven. Baked brie is very easy to make and can be customized with honey, jam, or an outer layer of puff pastry.
A charcuterie board would round out the experience with plenty of different flavors and textures. You can buy them pre-made in varying sizes or have fun crafting your own. The name may sound fancy, but these are just cured meat and cheese boards that can include crackers, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and dipping sauces. Combining this concept with homemade walnuts bites is sure to make your next party a hit.