This is originally a Penzey's recipe. I cut it out of one of their catalogs a long time ago, and now it's almost impossible to find online. So I'm posting it here for safekeeping. These walnuts (or you can use pecans, if you wish) are addictive by the handful, or good on top of tossed salad with diced apples, dried cranberries and a little bit of balsamic vinaigrette.
4 cups walnuts
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. dried minced orange peel rehydrated in 2 tbsp. orange juice, OR 2 tbsp. fresh minced orange peel
1 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup water
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the orange peel and water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Add the nuts and reduce the heat to medium-low so the liquid is simmering. Stir constantly while the liquid evaporates. This may take 10 - 15 minutes, so be patient. It is important to stir the mixture constantly so the nuts don't scorch.
At first the liquid will be shiny, but as the water boils off, the sugar will form brown crystals on the walnuts. The nuts at first will be easy to stir, and once the liquid evaporates they will be harder to stir, which is your cue to take them off the heat. Don't remove them too soon, or whatever liquid remains will harden around the nuts when you dry them.