I’m going to keep this fairly simple because these almonds are fairly simple. They don’t really need my fancy words to talk them up to convince you to make them. I figure they do this all on their own with that beautifully bronzed coating of crispy caramel you see up there. You can hear them crunch just by looking at the picture!!
These almonds are the result of nearly five years of trial and error. It started as a search for a nice crunchy topping for an ice cream sundae bar. I found a recipe, they were fine. I made them again and again. And again. Each time I’d change something – adding a little brown sugar (meh), honey instead of granulated sugar (a huge flop), roasting instead of cooking on the stove top (way too fussy). None of these turned out as well as the most paired down version I’ve tried, which is what I’m passing on to you today. The best part about these? They turn out every single time.
Nothing fancy here – sliced almonds, sugar, salt, and (optional) spices. Heat everything in a saute pan. Once the sugar starts to melt, stir, stir, stir. As the sugar melts and begins to caramelize, the nuts will also start to toast. The smell is fantastic. Once everything is toasty and bronzed to your liking, promptly take the almonds off the burner and dump/spread onto a piece of parchment paper. Let these cool down completely before you try one – they are best when they’re crispy-crackly at room temperature.
My favorite home for these is in salads (made with a few good grinds of black pepper and a pinch of cayenne!), but they are equally as good sprinkled on Easy Blackberry Cream Trifles or even your morning bowl of oatmeal. This recipe makes quite a few almonds, but I don’t know anyone who has had a difficult time finding a use for them 🙂
- 1/2 cup raw sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- A pinch of optional spices: cinnamon (good for desserts), cayenne + freshly ground black pepper (my favorite for salads)
First, prep a good sized piece of parchment paper (silpat will work as well) on your kitchen counter. You'll want this ready to go because once the almonds are done, they need to come out of the pan and onto the parchment immediately!
In a saute pan set over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. At this point, you can stir occasionally with a rubber scraper. Try to evenly distribute the sugar across the bottom of the pan so it gets heated evenly. After a few minutes, the sugar will start to melt. This is when you'll need to start stirring constantly. The sugar will continue to melt and begin to form sugar clumps. Do your best to smash these with your scraper so they can melt onto the almonds instead. Once the almonds and caramelized sugar have browned as much as you want, remove quickly from the heat and spread them out over the parchment. Let cool completely before sampling. Enjoy!