Saturday, November 28, 2009

Caramelized Cayenne Almonds

Make a batch of these almonds - or several batches! - and keep on hand for family and friends to nibble over the holidays. They're the perfect nosh with an aperatif before dinner.

In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup raw sugar, 3 tablespoons water, 1/2 tsp. to 3/4 tsp. ground red pepper (depending how spicy you like things!), 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. ground cumin. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, then stir in 1 cup blanched almonds.

Continue to cook until the sugar mixture thickens and the nuts are coated, stirring occasionally. The original recipe said this would take 22 minutes, and I was perplexed as to why mine took exactly half. It may be because I halved the original recipe, but it maybe I was supposed to turn the heat down a notch; I can't be sure. So watch your pot carefully to see when things seem done.

Immediately transfer the nut mixture to a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, arranging in a single layer. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.

Once out of the oven, separate the nuts using two forks - they will definitely stick together, and I chipped the nuts a bit during this process, as you can see in the photo. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. 2 tablespoons is 160 calories.

blanched almonds $5.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance