Three Pepper Almonds

No matter how hard and how often I try, I can’t figure out how to get an even, smooth coat on these almonds.   The end result is an almond that is sweet, spicy and a little gnarly. Serve these with a fruit platter, featuring apples, apricots, plums and prunes or for a sweet tooth, with vanilla ice cream doused with caramel sauce.

California is the only state that produces almonds commercially. 70% of the worlds supply is grown by 6000 farmers on almost half a million acres.

Since Romans times, almonds have been thought to signify five wishes for the bride and groom: health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity.  Almonds were once thrown on newlyweds; today, instead, many newlyweds give Jordan almonds to their guests. Jordan almonds, pastel- colored, hard candy- coated almonds, are supposed to represent the bitter and sweet that comes with marriage. Yuck: if you wish for any of the above, try this sweet and spicy recipe instead.

Three Pepper Almonds
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups whole almonds, blanched or not
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper or chipotle flakes
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place a large skillet over medium heat and when it is hot, add the oil.
  3. Add the almonds and cook until just beginning to color. Add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, waiting until each tablespoons melts before adding another, and cook until all but one tablespoon have been added.
  4. Sprinkle in the peppers, stirring all the while, and then transfer to the baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle with the additional tablespoon sugar and the salt.
  6. Immediately loosen the nuts with a spatula and set aside to cool.