Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sweet 'n' Spicy Almonds

Last week, my student group (I'm co-chair) hosted a reception in honor of an art show opening on campus. Surprisingly, attendance was very high for a Friday at 5pm - clearly, students and staff don't mind hanging around so much if there's food! Of course, there was plenty of food, and I only added to the problem by bringing a big tupperware of these almonds (plus a few other things). Hopefully we'll be having more social events like this on campus, because I had a great time just sitting around, talking with everyone.

These nuts are super easy to make, although I had a little "oh shit" moment as the sugar started to caramelize faster than I was expecting. I just kept moving, though, and everything turned out alright. I love this combo of sweet and spicy - the spicy is not overwhelming, but will start to creep up on you after a while.

Sweet 'n' Spicy Almonds
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp chili powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sugar
3 Tbsp canola oil
½ cup sugar
1 lb almonds, unsalted

Mix together salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and ½ tsp sugar, and set aside. In a medium pot over medium heat, combine canola oil and ½ cup sugar. Stir until sugar is melted and just beginning to darken. Add almonds and stir to coat, until the sugar is caramelized. Sprinkle in spice mixture and stir to coat. Spread nuts onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet to cool. Break apart any large chunks before serving.


Unknown said...

Ooh, looks like something I've made, except mine had those mini pretzel nuggets from trader joes. so addicting!!!

JacquelineC said...

I love spiced nuts! I make them smokey and spicy. Lately I've been adding candied bacon. Now, the nuts that people loved are now left behind!

Pam said...

Are those the same as the pretzels with peanut butter in them? Either way, I'm sure it was good! I think I'm going to try coating everything in this magical coating from now on...

Especially bacon. I know the bacon train is a little cliched by now, but I'm still hearing the siren song of bacon.

Nancy Little said...

Wow! Those look delicious. Sorry I missed them. Too busy with assignments to venture to Boston for the artists' reception.

Pam said...

Nancy, it is quite a trek! You were missed, but it's good that you finished your TOR.