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Sweet and Spicy Almonds


8 to 12 Servings

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 25 mins


4 and 1/2 cups unsalted, not roasted almonds (skins removed)

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat the oven 350ºF.

Arrange the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Roast until nuts are fragrant and toasted, about 6-8 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, line a separate baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large cast iron skillet, add the sugar, water, vanilla extract, salt and cooled nuts, stirring to combine. Place over medium heat and allow to cook until the sugar crystallizes on the outside of the nuts and the mixture becomes dry, about 20-25 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and allow some of the sugar to dissolve. Stir continuously, coating the nuts in melted sugar at the bottom of the pan while still keeping the drier sugar crystals on the outside of the nuts - moving the pan on and off the heat will help to keep the caramel from burning but still allow the crystallization! Allow to cook for another 5-8 minutes, then add the cayenne and cinnamon and stir to combine. Remove the mixture to the prepared baking sheet, spread into an even layer and allow to completely cool. Break nuts up into clumps and serve.

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