Today we’re continuing our virtual Real Food party with a couple of recipes that are sure to please the nut lovers in your life. The first is a Burnt Sugar Almond and the second is a delicious Caribbean Spiced Cashew. With the NFL playoffs in full swing, you’ll want to make up a batch or two and munch away while cheering your favorite team.
As usual, I turned to Pinterest and picked a couple recipes that caught my eye and appealed to my palate.
Let’s start with the almonds first. I found the recipe on Get Off Your Butt and Bake. These guys should have a warning sticker on them. You’ll want to use skinless almonds if you can find them but it’s not a big deal if you can’t. In fact you can use any type of nut you’d like to make these. When we were growing up, my mother always used raw peanuts.
The technique is very similar to making brittle.
- 2 cups almonds
- ⅓ cup water
- 1¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- generous pinch salt
- Measure all the ingredients and have them ready. Prepare a large baking sheet with cooking spray or a silicon mat. Use a wooden spoon if possible. You'll need something that can take the heat from the sugar.
- Use a heavy saucepan over medium high heat to bring the water and sugar to a boil. You'll want to stay close to the stove and keep an eye on things.
- Stir in the almonds, salt and vanilla (and cinnamon). Turn the heat down to medium, and move the saucepan off the burner as necessary to help control the process. The contents will bubble up, but keep stirring. The water will boil away and eventually you'll notice the color changing to caramel.
- Empty the contents onto the baking tray and spread into a single layer. No matter how tempting, DO NOT touch or taste until it's cooled down. Break into smaller pieces to serve.
The idea for Caribbean Spiced Cashews comes from Good Dinner Mom. I can’t get enough of them. Her recipe called for liquid smoke and used coconut oil. I substituted cumin and olive oil and was happy with the results.
The spice blend is sweet, smoky, savory and spicy: all my favorite things. You might want to consider making a batch just of the spices. We’ve used it on popcorn, chicken and fish. The original recipe calls for a squeeze of lime juice before serving which I’ve omitted for the nuts but have done for chicken. It’s fab.
- 2 cups roasted cashews
- 1½ teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoky paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenns powder
- salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- Mix all the spices together before beginning.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Stir in the spice blend.
- Add the cashews and stir well to coat.
- Keep an eye on the heat and continue to stir as the cashews go from yummy to burnt in a millisecond.
- When the cashews become fragrant transfer to a baking sheet to cool.
If you only want to make one recipe, make the Caribbean Spiced Nuts. Fair warning, they’re going to go fast so you might want to make extra.