Caramel-Dipped Hazelnut Spikes

This sugar garnish creates a wow factor on any dessert and is a great way to give the art of sugar confections a try.

Caramel-Dipped Hazelnut Spikes
Photo: Leigh Beisch
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
14 spikes


  • 14 hazelnuts, skinless and toasted

  • 1 ½ cups sugar

  • ½ cup water


  1. Prepare an ice bath and place next to the stove. Place a heavy cutting board at the edge of the counter with a piece of parchment or newspaper on the floor directly below. Insert a long wooden skewer in each hazelnut.

  2. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Place a small metal bowl over the top to prevent crystals from forming. Boil until thickened and medium amber in color, about 12 minutes.

  3. Place the pan in the ice bath to thicken the caramel, about 3 minutes. Working quickly, dip each hazelnut into the caramel: if it's cool enough, it will form a thick string that will drip down from the hazelnut. Place the end of the skewer under the cutting board to hold it in place so the drip can harden.

  4. When the caramel has cooled, use scissors to trim the end, if desired. Remove the nuts from the skewers. If it's humid, serve immediately; otherwise, they can hold for up to 3 hours.


If the caramel hardens, you can reheat it over low heat. Also, for easy cleanup, fill the saucepan back up with water and bring to a boil. This will melt all the hardened sugar on the sides of the pan.

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