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.
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
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.