Hola! It's Thanksgiving today! And my birthday tomorrow! It is a wonderful month indeed, with lots of good food and family/friend gatherings, and in case you are not part of any of those two then at least grab the phone and call your loved ones to share a bit of joy, or your dog or cat companion. Any way, if you want to thank your peers with something more than a "thank you" (which is more than enough, don't worry), I'll share with you a simple recipe that's perfect for those last minute presents. Candied almonds are easy to make, require very few ingredients, and make great thoughtful gifts if presented in cute packages. Or just throw them in a big bowl and snack on them with everyone!
Before I begin, you can use any nut you want and spice them up with any combination you can imagine. I'll share a basic recipe but please feel free to make it your own by adding or subtracting ingredients; just remember not to steer away too much from the sugar/water ratio or they might take too long to caramelize and therefore burn a bit.
- 2 cups almonds
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/4 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- In a large skillet over medium heat, pour the water, sugar and honey. Mix well and bring to a bubbly boil.
- Add the spices and the almonds. Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Keep mixing slowly with a wooden spoon/spatula until all almonds are covered. The liquids will evaporate and a thick caramel will form around the nuts.
- When there is no more liquid and only a sticky caramel, place the almonds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Try to spread them out as much as you can to avoid them from sticking together.
- Let them cool, then separate them.
- You can sprinkle them with extra sugar or some sea salt.
Remember to be extra careful when working with hot sugar, don't touch the almonds or the caramel until they cool down a bit or you might burn yourself. These were ready in about 20 minutes including cooling, so prepare some cute bags to give them as gifts to your loved ones to enjoy. Even if you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, everyday is a good day to tell your loved ones "thank you", you won't believe how a small nice gesture can change someone's day, so why not be that nice one that brightens other people's day? May you have a wonderful weekend!