Spiced Candied Almonds
6-8 servings
Adapted from Almonds, Anchovies and Pancetta: A Vegetarian Cookbook, Kind Of by Cal PeternellRed chile flakes are sometimes called crushed red pepper. Don’t like spice? You can leave them out, although I found them not overwhelming at all. It is, however, important to use sea salt. Fine table salt is quite harsh and they won’t taste very good if you use it, so try to use flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel or Maldon, if you have it. If you’ve been reading my blog or my books for a while, I hope I’ve convinced you to keep salt like that in your kitchen by now. If not, you could use Diamond kosher salt.These candied almonds are terrific on their own, but can also be sprinkled over ice cream, a serving of cake, or as part of an apéritif snack spread.
2 cups (160g) sliced almonds, natural or blanched
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (60ml) water
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (165ºC).
2. Put the almonds in a medium-sized bowl along with the red pepper flakes, sea salt, and several generous turns of freshly ground black pepper.
3. In a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir the syrup into the almonds so they’re completely coated. (Cal mentions they will steam considerably when you add the syrup, but mine didn’t. But it’s something to be aware of.)
4. Scrape the almonds into a mesh strainer set over a bowl or pan, and let drain 5 minutes.
5. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer.
6. Bake the almonds in the oven until the almonds are golden brown, removing them from the oven to stir them twice during baking, so they brown evenly. They’ll take about 15 to 20 minutes to bake. Remove the almonds from the oven and let cool before removing them from the baking sheet.

Storage: Store the almonds in an airtight container. They can be left at room temperature up to two weeks.