Until recently, I had never heard of Oklahoma Nut Candy. The name alone was enough to grab my attention and after a little research I learned this candy has quite the history! It was first published in 1936 in the food column of The Daily Oklahoman where it was called Aunt Bill’s Brown Candy. From there it seems to have made the rounds throughout the nation. People know a good Christmas treat when they taste it!
The instructions varied a bit throughout the years, but the ingredients have stayed largely the same. Mainly, a whole lot of sugar. If you take a peak at the ingredient list you’ll see that this recipe calls for a hefty six cups of sugar. Yup, you read that right. From there you’ll find other baking staples.
The choice of nuts is up to you, but the popular choices have historically been pecans and walnuts. I can’t help thinking that peanuts would be pretty tasty too. I decided to keep things classic and go with pecans in my version.
While the ingredients used here are all pretty simple, as with many candy recipes, there are some specific steps you need to get right. A candy thermometer and possibly another set of hands for the stirring stage will make this recipe much easier. Don’t let the process scare you off, this treat is 100 percent worth giving a try. I know you’ll agree with the first bite!
Oklahoma Nut Candy
1h prep time
- 6 cups sugar, divided
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cups chopped walnuts or pecan
- Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
- In a small saucepan (with a heavy bottom if you have it!), pour in 2 cups of sugar and cook over low heat while stirring often. Cook until sugar is completely melted, about 20 minutes.
- As sugar cooks down, add the 4 cups of remaining sugar and heavy cream to a large saucepan (or dutch oven, you want a big pot here!). Simmer over low heat until the sugar in your small saucepan has melted. Add melted sugar to a large saucepan with continuously stirring.
- Bring the heat up to medium and cook mixture until 244 degrees F or softball stage.
- Remove from heat and stir in baking soda until completely combined.
- Add butter and vanilla. Stir until butter has melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Let rest for 20 minutes.
- After the mixture has rested, stir in nuts and mix until the sheen has gone. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
- Let cool 1-2 hours or overnight. Cut into small squares to serve.