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

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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  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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. :)

  6. 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!)