a peek inside the fishbowl

19 Dec, 2008

My favourite recipe for candied almonds nuts: new, improved, and cheaper

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Photography|Recipes and Food

I know, I know. You’re probably wondering how many times I can write about my sweet & spicy almond recipe.

The answer: LOTS.

I made two batches yesterday to give away as gifts. I’ve made this recipe enough now that I can confidently drop in a few extra tips and tricks. So here is the new and revised version:

2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 cups whole almonds [Ed: I used to make this using only blanched almonds but they are one of the most expensive purchases in the nut aisle at Bulk Barn. My new favourite (and much less expensive combo) is this: 1 cup whole almonds (shelled with brown "skin" intact), 1/2 cup pecan halves and 1/2 cup blanched almonds.)
1/2 cup plus one tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

  • Combine the 1tb sugar, salt, cumin and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick pot or frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add the nuts and sprinkle the 1/2 cup sugar over them. Allow me to interrupt with a photo:

 candied nuts

  • Saute until the almonds become golden brown and the sugar caramelizes. This will take about 15-17 minutes.
  • Keep stirring, because they will burn quickly.
  • Remove the pan from the element and toss with your sugar/salt/cumin/pepper flake mixture.
  • Spread the nuts in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet. Let cool for two or three minutes.
  • Separate the nuts before they cool down too much.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight tin or arrange in pretty bowls to give as gifts.

candied nuts: finished!

That’s it!

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7 Responses to "My favourite recipe for candied almonds nuts: new, improved, and cheaper"

1 | Lee

December 19th, 2008 at 1:49 pm

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Love, love, LOVE your spicy almond recipe!

I was wondering about using almonds with the skin on. Does it impact the taste at all?

(And I’m embarrassed at how many batches it took for me to figure out the “Separate the nuts before they cool down too much,” part. Quick tip, if your almonds are stuck to each other, break things into small enough pieces to put in a jar. Put the lid firmly on the jar. Give the jar a good shake and the almonds will, hopefully, separate themselves!)

2 | andrea

December 19th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

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Lee: The taste is not the same as it would be if you used 100% blanched almonds. It’s good & different.

It’s funny you should mention the thing about the cooling down. The first half-dozen times I made this I’d dump the warm nuts into a big bowl and hack away at them while they cooled. Not fun. Spreading them out in a single layer is *much* easier and you can use a couple fork or your clean fingers to pry them apart. If you don’t separate them you’ll be stuck with big hunks o’ nuts – which is more difficult to eat in polite company. :)

3 | porter

December 19th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

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I love these nuts too and forgot to make them…shoot. Maybe tomorrow once the snow is cleared I will take a quick trip to the Bulk Barn to get some…yummy!

4 | Lee

December 19th, 2008 at 4:46 pm

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Mmmm…. spicy almond balls.

5 | DaniGirl

December 21st, 2008 at 11:49 am

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Yanno, I’ve tried these two years in a row, and I just can’t make them turn out. Maybe I’ll give this recipe a go, because I just love the idea, but they turned out lumpy and sticky in a not-pleasant sort of way each time before.

6 | Edible Christmas gifts to make and to give >> a peek inside the fishbowl

November 21st, 2010 at 10:15 am

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[...] candied nuts (here’s my DIY recipe – I swear to god everyone I give this to LOVES IT. I’ve been giving the nuts with little [...]

7 | My MILs recipe for homemade Bits and Bites. >> a peek inside the fishbowl

November 26th, 2013 at 11:40 am

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[…] not as fancy as this candied nut recipe (I like to bring that one along as a hostess gift this time of year) but homemade bits and bites […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (15) and Sarah (13). I am the editor of the Kitchissippi Times, Capital Parent Newspaper, and a regular contributor to MediaSmarts.ca. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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