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Sweet & Spicy Almonds

From the kitchen of field editor Ann Sheehy of Lawrence, Massachusetts: I adapted this recipe from one that I made up years ago for hot and spicy almonds. The combination of spices makes this a delicious savory and sweet snack. In humid weather, it's best to store the nuts in the refrigerator so they won't stick together.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup brown sugar (I use brownulated)
  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 3 tablespoons Gustus Vitae spicy chocolate cinnamon cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound unsalted almonds (4 cups)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, optional
  • Cayenne pepper, optional

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 300°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil. Spray with cooking spray to coat. Set aside.
  • Using a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter on medium heat. Add brown sugar and water. Cook and stir until sugar dissolves. Add spicy chocolate cinnamon sugar and salt; stir until blended. Mix in almonds with a heat-proof silicone spatula. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Cook and stir for 5-8 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Spread the nuts onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until the nuts turn deep golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. (If extra spice is desired sprinkle with black and cayenne pepper, to taste.) Stir to break up large clumps of nuts. When cool to the touch, separate the almonds into individual bites. Place on waxed paper and cool completely. Store in an air tight container. If nuts stick together, break apart before putting in a decorative serving bowl.
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