Joy the Baker

Sweet and Spicy Almonds

May 1, 2009

Sweet and Spicy Baked Almonds

Here’s a fun thing to do!  Take a few minutes to close your eyes and imagine yourself as an old person.  I’m not talking about late sixties.  That’s not old yet.  I’m talking about great great grandmother old.. pushing the mid-nineties.

Sounds crazy?  Why would you spend time picturing white hair in bobby pins, shuffling feet and rocking chairs?  I feel like getting old is a luxury.  Not everyone gets to do it, so why not sit and enjoy the thought a bit?

I imagine that I’m the kind of old lady that talks to her over fed cats, and yells across the house to her practically deaf husband.  I hope I’m the kind of old lady who has a piano in the house just so my grandchildren can come over and practice their scales while I shuffle around the kitchen baking them cookies.

I want to be the kind of old lady that always thinks a glass of champagne is a good idea.

I want to be the kind of old lady who always has something out on the living room table for that unexpected guest.  Maybe it’s those soft chalky mints.  Maybe a freshly baked pie.  Maybe it’s these Sweet and Spicy Baked Almonds.  These nuts, my friends, have me daydreaming of old lady times somehow… with a smile on my face.

Sweet and Spicy Baked Almonds

Sweet and Spicy Baked Almonds

So, you might be thinking… really Joy?  Nuts?  That’s all you’ve got for me today?  My answer to that… yes.  Nuts.  Live a little.

These nuts are simply almonds sprinkled in magic, aka fennel seeds.  They’re sweet.  They’re spicy.  They’re salty and crunchy.  They make a super yumtastic snack to have around the house, a snazzy hostess gift, or they’re great to bring to a cocktail party.  All around winners, that’s what these almonds are.

Sweet and Spicy Baked Almonds

Sweet and Spicy Baked Almonds

from Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes

Print this Recipe!

1/3 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon fennel seeds

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups raw almonds

2 Tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix sugar, fennel, salt and pepper flakes in a medium sized bowl.  Add the almonds and water and stir until coated.  Pour onto the foil lined baking sheet and spread out evenly.

Bake the almonds for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir almonds around.  Return to the oven and bake for another 17 minutes, checking and stirring the almonds 2 to 3 more times.  Almonds will turn beautifully dark brown.  Remove from the oven and separate with a fork.  Cool and remove from the pan to a serving bowl or an airtight container for storage.

Sweet and Spicy Baked Almonds


48 Comments Add A Comment

  • i love almonds those look yummy! :)

  • They sound and look great – perfect little pick-me-up snack … for even before we’re great-grandmother-old. ;)

  • Spiced nuts are my favorites. I think this would be excellent with pecans, too, and they’re easier on the dentures. My grandmothers (one 85, one 90) are both of the opinion that champagne is never a bad idea (as am I), and I agree it’s the best way to be.

  • Geez Joy! Those almonds looks terribly appetizing! I’d even say mouthwatering… but I think we should enjoy them while we can, for in our mid-nineties, I doubt any of us have teeth left to savour them… unless suck the great flavoring on them, and put them back in the bowl! LOL

    Beautiful!

    P.s.: My parents are in their early 80′s and believe you me when I say one has to be made of steel to still be able to bake cookies or pies at that age, nevermind ten years later!

  • Oh girl, your nuts look good! I’d say that they look a million times better than those soft chalky mints, but then again, I secretly like them. Must be the inner-old lady in me.

    I’ve had sweet and spicy nuts before, but never with fennel. Must. Try.

    -Siri

  • Oh God! Please let me be dead before I’m mid-nineties. Living that long would just be awful. Fortunately my family’s average life expectancy falls in the early seventies, so I’m safe.

    On another note, I would never poo poo a good sweet ‘n’ spicy nut recipe. I’ve seen a lot floating around the blogs, and I love ‘em.

  • I am by no means disappointed by this recipe. I am surprised you would wonder if we would think it isn’t enough. Silly lady! It’s a perfect Friday recipe… you know, something to whip up and set out for friends while we’re having friday night drinks. And, yum, fennel seeds are a brilliant idea. I tried some roasted cashews a while ago with rosemary and cayenne that were pretty spectacular, but I have never tried fennel seeds with nuts. Will do so very soon. Thanks!

  • Oooh – like Phoo-D, I’ve been searching for fancy party/entertaining food so these are perfect! No shame in posting this recipe either – can’t wait to try it.

  • Yum yum. We make nuts like this a lot for parties, and they never last. Your recipe is new to us though. Like the fennel a lot.

  • Between these and Deb’s Black Bread recipe, I think I need to go find some fennel seeds. yum.

  • Oh yum! I love fennel and these look great. I’ve been on the hunt for new “fancy munchies” and will give this a try.

  • Joy, I love the website, and also the new cookbooks that I haven’t seen that you introduce me too! Thanks! These almonds look really yummy…

  • I do that too! The thinking about what I’m going to be like when I get old. Apparently I’m very like my grandmother, and I take that as a huge compliment. I want to be just like her, she was cool: knitted, sewed and was an awesome baker (plus she had a wonderful husband)

    These nuts look so tasty, they’ll be just the thing to munch with beer in the garden this weekend when we have friends over.

    Thanks Joy, a perfectly timed recipe. As ever.

  • Those look lovely, Joy! Sadly, I’m allergic to almonds. Are there any other nuts you think might be a good substitute?

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