Recipe: Candied Almonds

Oh my gosh are these addicting! Buttery almonds crusted in sweet, cinnamon-y goodness with a hint of salt and spice. Too bad good thing we gave most of them away…

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F and I wanted to give little holiday gifts to some of our friends and colleagues here. We both love candied nuts — Trader Joe’s candied pecans are a favorite — and they’re a great holiday treat, so we decided to make some of our own to give away.

Enter smitten kitchen (as usual). We doubled Deb’s sugar and spice candied nuts recipe to make enough for ten little gift bags. I decreased the white sugar a bit, and next time I might cut the brown sugar, too, as the sweet-to-salt ratio was a bit too high sweet for me.

Candied nuts are really easy to make; they take about five minutes to stir together, then you just have to turn them occasionally during their half hour in the oven. You could use any kind of nuts for this recipe; we chose almonds because A) they’re delicious, and B) they’re one of the least expensive nuts here in the UK. If I had an endless nut budget, I’d make candied pecans…maybe next year?

Candied Almonds (adapted from smitten kitchen; makes enough nuts for 10-12 small gift bags)

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1kg (2lbs) whole almonds (or pecans or walnuts or your other favorite nut)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2.5 tsp salt
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you want them; we used 1/8 because our cayenne is super hot)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Procedure

  • Preheat the oven to 150C (300F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites and water until frothy but not stiff.
  • Add the almonds to the egg mixture and stir until they’re completely coated.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add them to the nut mixture and stir until everything is evenly combined.
  • Spread the nuts in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet (we had to bake in two batches, as we have just one baking sheet).
  • Bake the nuts for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool, then break apart and store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

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