Last Christmas, my friend gave us a jar of candied spiced almonds and I’ve pretty much been craving them ever since we hit the bottom of that jar. With a candy crunch and sweet cinnamon spice, I just couldn’t get enough of them. They were irresistible – the kind of thing you grab a handful of every time you walk by, which is precisely why that jar ran out so fast. But never fear! I’ve figured out how to make them on my own and I plan to never run out of them again.
Before I tell you how to make these, let me wax poetic for a bit about how incredibly good they are. You already know what an almond is like so let me start with the spice blend – it’s largely cinnamon but has enough other components going on that it just smells (and tastes) like a warm menagerie of seasonal spices. Five different people walked through my house the day I made these and every single one exclaimed “It smells amazing in here!” When you start to cook them, in fact, you might be worried that the spice is a little too strong, but I promise that it all settles beautifully into the sweet candy shell that surrounds these nuts.
Okay, now, on to the important part – how to make these for yourself! (And your friends. You’ll have enough to share, I promise.)
These are surprisingly easy to make. Certainly easier than brittle or any homemade candy that has that hard candy crack, but every bit as satisfying to eat. And you don’t need a candy thermometer or any special equipment to make them, just some almonds, sugar, and a handful of spices.
You just combine some water, sugar, and your spices in a pan… (That’s cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg.)
Bring the mixture to a boil…
… And then stir in some vanilla and the almonds and lower the heat.
Keep cooking and stirring until the water evaporates and the sugar starts to look like a coarse sand. Have patience – it will happen all of a sudden!
And then keep stirring and cooking until the sugar finally breaks down and turns back into a shiny liquid.
Once it’s all beautiful and shiny and forms a glaze over those almonds, you pour it out onto a baking sheet and let it set. They’ll harden up pretty quickly and you can get to snacking. No temperature taking, no dropping sugar strands into liquid… just a little bit of stirring and one seriously delicious snack. Enjoy!
Spiced Roasted Almonds
5m prep time
15m cook time
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups unsalted almonds
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
- In a large non-stick skillet, combine water, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt.
- Bring mixture to a boil, then add the almonds and vanilla and lower to medium heat.
- Continue cooking and stirring until water is gone. Sugar will change to a coarse and dry consistency. Keep stirring. Once glaze starts to look shiny, pour onto prepared pan.
- Break up clumps with a wooden spoon as nuts cool to separate. Let harden and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Yammies Noshery.