Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Almonds

Not your typical roasted almonds, these have a little kick of chili powder and cayenne pepper and the depth of more cinnamon than most recipes. The spice level with just a 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper is not too much (my 4-year-old daughter can eat them and actually loves them :), so if you are a "heat" lover, fell free to kick  things up a notch in this department. :) On the other hand, if you have more of a sweet tooth, you can certainly increase the amount of both sugars in the recipe to up to 1/2 cup each. And of course, if you fee like it, go ahead and play around with the endless variations of spices and herbs in the mix to suit your personal preferences. These almonds are great on their own as snack, but they are really good with fruit and cheese or tossed on salads. Here, my little artistic 4-year-old daughter arranged them with her favorite apricots and clementines and then enjoyed them as a snack. :)

1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups whole almonds
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or 1/2 tsp if you like more heat :))

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Lightly grease a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan.

Combine egg white and vanilla in large bowl. Beat until frothy. Add almonds and toss to coat. Pour almonds into a mesh strainer to drain excess liquid, 5 to 10 minutes. Return strained almonds to the bowl.

Stir white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper together in a bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture over almonds and toss to coat evenly. Spread coated nuts evenly onto prepared jelly roll pan.

Bake for about 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes, to avoid burning almonds. Allow to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.

Recipe adapted from: Sweet-and-Spicy-Roasted-Almonds

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