My family has a ridiculous weakness for sweet and spicy almonds. We have been buying a version of them from Costco and devouring them almost as soon as we get them home. I was determined to provide the flavor we love, with a whole lot less sugar. The fourth time was the charm and we are thrilled with these!
I add the highest amount of cayenne to the batch when I make these. If you are leery of making them too spicy, start with 1/4 teaspoon and add more gradually. Mix the sugar, salt and cayenne together and taste just a bit of the mixture. Gradually increase the cayenne, about 1/4 teaspoon at a time. (Just a note: The sugar can’t be reduced much lower without compromising the recipe. The sugar helps everything stick to the almonds.)
- 4 cups almonds
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 - 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the nuts on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Toast in the oven until nuts are fragrant, approximately 13- 15 minutes. Watch them carefully, they will go from perfectly roasted to burnt in just about a minute. While the nuts are roasting, combine the sugar, salt and cayenne in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large COLD saucepan, combine the honey, water and oil. When the almonds come out of the oven, set them aside for a minute. Bring the saucepan to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Add roasted almonds and cook; stirring every so often, until all the liquid has evaporated and the honey has thoroughly coated the almonds. This should take less than 5 minutes. The almonds should be shiny at this point.
- Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the coated almonds, a few tablespoons at a time. Stir well between each addition. Once all of the sugar is combined with the nuts, toss to combine thoroughly. Spread the warm almonds in a single layer on top of parchment paper or a silpat mat to cool. Use a couple of forks or your fingers to separate the still warm almonds if they clump together while they are cooling.
- Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!