Monday, November 10, 2014

Spicy Almonds

On Halloween Steve and I were invited to a party, where we needed to bring an appetizer. Normally I bring buffalo chicken dip (YUM!) but this year Steve wanted to try something different. So we made two different spiced almonds.
The first one we made were a Spicy Honey and Salt style from Lemons & Anchovies. This one was my favorite, though everyone else was pretty divided on who liked which one best.
2 - 2½ cups raw almonds
⅛ cup sugar
¼ cup honey
¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat your oven to 325° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. If using parchment, lightly oil it.
Combine the sugar and salt in a bowl large enough to accommodate the almonds and set aside.
Melt the honey in a large skillet over low to medium heat. Add the cayenne and the almonds and stir until all the nuts are coated with the honey and spice.
Spread the nuts in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Let the almonds cool slightly and toss them in the sugar-salt mixture. Remove the parchment or wax lining from the baking sheet and spread out the almonds on it again to let them cool completely.
The second batch of almonds we tried were a sriracha and brown sugar, from Heather's Dish.
1 cup raw shelled almonds
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
Preheat oven to 350. Place the almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so until the almonds are toasted and fragrant. Remove from the oven and pour onto a cold plate until the Sriracha sauce is done. For the Sriracha and brown sugar sauce bring the brown sugar, Sriracha and soy sauce to a gentle simmer just until the brown sugar is dissolved. Toss immediately with the almonds and spread on a sheet of parchment paper to cool.

Now both almonds had to be put into the freezer to get past the really sticky phase even once cooled. But they never became completely hard-shelled which is what I was expecting. The sticking made them a bit hard to eat. They stuck together or to the bowl. 
I thought both had a good mix of heat and sweet to them. I everyone seemed to like the taste. Though I think I will keep looking for a new recipe. 

~ Cassi

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