by rebecca deangelis
Nociata is a hard yet chewy candy made of honey and walnuts and wrapped in bay leaves. To eat Nociata, either peel back the bay leaf to eat the walnut candy alone, or eat it all together (as I do). The bay leaf gives the sweet candy an herbaceous flavor to the slightly tannic and bittersweet walnut confection.
Preheat oven to 300F. Roughly chop walnuts and toast for about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Place honey in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Once the honey is bubbling, add the chopped walnuts. Using a heatproof spatula, stir until the honey has reduced a little and the mixture has thickened. This allows the walnuts to roast and the honey to caramelize and evaporate some of its liquid. Depending on the temperature of the honey, the length of this process will vary.
When the mixture has set, pour onto a sheet tray lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Spread evenly using the heatproof spatula and let it cool.
Lay the fresh bay leaves on top of the walnut candy so that it can infuse some of its aroma. Otherwise you can wait until the candy has cooled, then cut into squares and wrap each one with a bay leaf.