4 ingredients. One big sugar bomb. This candy concoction is like peanut brittle on steroids. It's crunchy and munchy and looks super pretty in a nice bowl, and it can also be made with whatever nuts you have....I just chose these cause I was feeling indulgent. So sue me.
These babies might also be your first excuse for playing with caramelizing too! Double trouble!
Roast these, on a dry sheet tray, for 8 minutes, at 350 degrees:
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup cashews
Try your best to buy unsalted nuts, but don't worry if salted ones were all you could find. There's a lot to be said for controlling the salt content, a control you can exercise right now if your nuts are salt-free. Salt them, to taste. When your nuts are browned and salted to your liking, pour them onto a foil-lined, greased sheet tray. They're about to get pwned. With sugar.
But, this part takes time. A lot of time. There's good new though...you don't have to stand there and watch this process go down, although it IS pretty freakin' cool. Depending how much water you add to the sugar, it may take up to 45 minutes. In a big saucepan, add:
2 cups sugar
enough water to cover it (like wet sand)
Bring this mixture to a boil, uncovered, on high heat. The sugar will now cook and cook and cook until it begins to change at a chemical level and break down oh so slowly. Oh. So. Slowly. While it's working on the stove it is DOUBLY IMPORTANT to be EXTRA SUPER CAUTIOUS with your arms, elbows, or any potential child-stove interaction. Sugar burns are horrific. Much like getting smashed with all the power a jalapeno can muster, nature will totally win out on this one and you win be in pain. So be careful.
Several minutes in, you'll start to notice that little crystals have formed up the sides of the pan above the water level, which you'll eventually learn to wipe off with a wet paper towel. Do not attempt this if you're a sugar-cooking rookie. See above for more details. This crystallization is also your cue to start looking for color, a dark, caramel color to be exact. Not burned, just dark. The sugar and water will have reduced way down and exhibit a change in texture, far more toward the syrupy end than the watery one. You should also smell the caramel (which, incidentally, always smells like popcorn to me). When it's there, CAREFULLY remove the pan from the stove and pour the caramel over the waiting roasted nuts. Spread it out evenly with a spatula, then immediately fill your sugar pan with scalding hot water. Do not do not do not leave it on the stove unsoaked because then, my sweet one, you'll have ruined your pan. Get it cooled down quickly and that sticky caramel will just melt away, sending a would-be terrible mess down the drain and into your nightmares.
When the chikki has cooled, break off pieces with your fingers and enjoy! Be sure to brush your teeth afterwards.