Sweet and Spicy Almonds

December 5, 2012

I never thought it would happen. Not in a million years. But here I am, confessing to a growing and wonderful relationship with spicy foods.

Now, I’m sure that my idea of spiciness differs drastically from trueborn heat seekers. But this whole world is new to me and I must tread carefully.

More and more often, cayenne pepper is finding its way into my cooking. A pinch here. A double pinch there.

And I like it. A lot.

With this newfound and enjoyable spicy experience, I’m eager to be a little more adventurous with adding spice. Sweet and Spicy Almonds are not a kick-in-the-pants-spicy, but they do have a touch of spiciness to contrast with the sweet and sugary coating.

You could, of course, add more cayenne pepper if you’d like additional heat. I’m still in the cautious lane regarding spice and this recipe was the perfect amount of spiciness for my fragile mouth.

Sweet and Spicy Almonds

2 1/2 cups whole unblanched almonds

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon water

Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until fragrant.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar salt and cayenne pepper.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the honey, oil and water—stirring until combined. This will take about 1 minute. Add the almonds and toss to coat.

Transfer the almonds to the sugar mixture (just the almonds and not the excess coating) and toss to coat. Spread almonds on a sheet of wax paper and allow to cool and dry.

Recipe: Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast