Hello blogging friends! I am SO happy to announce that my computer is back which means I can share with you all the exciting things that have happened over the last month and all the delightful things I have made!
First things first... I am a newly engaged woman! Matt proposed on 11/11/11. I am a huge believer of making wishes at times that have repetitive numbers (geek, I know) so he got down on his knee at our favorite park in Pittsburgh at 11:11pm and I don't think I have wiped the smile off my face since.
To kick off in this exciting time I wanted to share with you some almonds that I conjured up after our annual Girls' Wine Weekend back in October. One of our stops was Vintage Ridge Winery which does an amazing food and wine pairing. One of the last pairings were these spicy and sweet pecans that were out of this world. I think between the 5 of us we left with 4 containers of them. After that, I decided I definitely had to go home and try to recreate them.
Since I didn't have any pecans on hand, I decided to try almonds and they were just as delicious (and didn't I hear somewhere that almonds are healthy... especially when cooked in sugar??) Merry Christmas in advance friends and family, because you are all getting some of these in your stockings! I am that proud of them!
Sweet and Spicy Almonds
1 Bag Almonds (or Pecans)
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Water
1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and brown sugar together in a bowl. Put the water in a pan and let heat up. Once warm, add the sugar mixture and give a few stirs. Next, add the almonds and stir so all the nuts are coated in the sugar mixture. The mixture will begin to boil, keep stirring the almonds around. After about 5 minutes, the sugar will crystallize and begin to stick to the nuts. Once there is no liquid left, pour almonds on a covered baking sheet to cool. Then eat them all. That's it! (Yes, you have to eat them all. It's in the directions. If you don't, I commend you for have WAY more self control than me).
I served these to a few people at work who told me they got a hint of cayenne at the very end. I think the next time I make these I will add a little more (maybe 1/4 tsp) since I am used to eating everything doused in hot sauce. If you are daring enough, try it also and let me know how it goes!