This is a delicious quick gift to make. For gift-giving I filled some older canning jars I found at a yard sale this summer for 25 cents each. I doubled this recipe and it filled three pints.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (we only had salted and it was fine)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Coarse salt (I just used sea salt)
2 cups walnuts (6 ounces)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Stir in maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer (mixture should be frothy), about 3 minutes. Add walnuts, and toss to coat using a rubber spatula. Cook, stirring, until sauce is syrupy and bubbly, about 3 minutes.
Transfer walnut mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and spread into a single layer. Bake until walnuts are caramelized, about 10 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack. Stir, and let stand until cool and hardened, about 30 minutes