My friend Lizzy Shaw, who lives in California and comes to visit once a year, made these last New Year’s Eve. When she came back this year, she perfected them. Neither she nor my husband Mark could stop eating them.
Almonds, which are not actually nuts, botanically speaking, are stone fruits. They are rich in protein, calcum and riboflavin. Only a small portion of the fat in almonds is saturated and is among the lowest of nuts.
Although I have used blanched almonds in many of these recipes, I prefer to eat them skin- on. Some people (not me) consider the skins bitter. If you are one of these and you like your almonds blanched, simply drop skin-on them in a bowl of boiling water and let sit for 2- 3 minutes. Drain and rub off the skins with your hands.
- 1 ½ cups whole almonds (3/4 cup blanched, ¾ cup unsalted)
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place ¼ cup sugar in a large skillet and cook over medium heat until melted. Add the almonds and cook until they are coated with the syrup.
- Place the remaining ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.
- Add a small amount of the mixture to the almonds, stirring all the while.
- Add the remaining mixture, a little bit at a time, and toss until all the mixture has been used. Transfer to the prepared sheet and arrange in a single layer: separate the almonds with a fork or your hands.
- Immediately loosen the nuts with a spatula and set aside to cool.