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Sweet & Spicy Candied Almonds

With only 6 simple ingredients this Sweet and Spicy Nuts Recipe is the perfect snack, addition to a charcuterie board, or even gift during the holiday season and beyond. Made in as little as 15 minutes this Spicy Candied Almonds recipe uses maple syrup and no refined sugars making it a snack you can feel good about! 

This post was updated November 13, 2019 to update the method/recipe, more tips, and updated photographs. 

Spicy Candied Almonds

First off let’s not confuse these Sweet & Spicy Candied Nuts with Spiced Nuts. 

These little babies have a little punch of heat to them making them absolutely irresistible, where spiced nuts are more a mixture of delicious warm holiday spices. Both delicious but we are going for spicy here!

Spicy but not too spicy, plus you can adjust the heat on them by using more or less cayenne pepper. My 1 ½ year old liked these but my 4 year old found them too spicy. 

close up of candied almonds on a pan

So a few years back I developed this recipes for two reasons:

  1. There are always sooo many sweet treats around the holiday season I felt I needed a little spice to even things out
  2. Again so many sweets during the holiday I wanted to make these a little ‘lighter’ so I ditched the refined sugar and went with maple syrup to sweeten these candied almonds so I would feel a little less guilty. (Unless you accidentally eat the whole batch on the sheet tray before they even make it to the container)

So this is why I made a Sweet yet Spicy Candied Almond.

Perfect for so many occasions. You can make them just for a snack. They are a great addition to a charcuterie board. Or wrap them in cellophane or in a jar with a ribbon and give them out as gifts! 

Plus this method and recipe doesn’t have to stop at just almonds, you could use any nuts here like pecans, cashews, or even mixed nuts!

jar overflowing with spicy candied almonds

What you need for this Spicy Candied Nuts Recipe

For this recipe you will need just a few things you probably already have at your house:

  • raw almonds
  • coconut oil
  • maple syrup
  • cayenne powder
  • ground cinnamon
  • salt
  • And water
simple ingredients needed to make spicy candied almonds, raw almonds, cinnamon, cayenne, oil, maple syrup, and salt

As far as supplies you will need a small to medium sized pot, a rubber spatula, and a baking sheet lined with either parchment or waxed paper. 

The Method

So confession time, I originally use to bake this recipe but it burned sooo easily, even for me! 

So I put on my thinking cap and decided to convert the original recipe to a stovetop version, much like you would find at a Christmas Market. 

And it works soooo much better.

So what you will do is start by adding everything except the almonds to a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil.

Add almonds and continue boiling over medium heat. 

Stir occasionally at the beginning (the first 5 minutes or so). As the water begins to evaporate and the almonds begin to stick together you will want to begin stirring more frequently as not to burn the maple syrup or the nuts. 

You will continue to boil and stir for about 15 minutes until the almonds are sticking together and all of the water is evaporated. Note you might still find a little oil that did not get absorbed at the bottom of the pot, that is okay. 

processes shot of the different times throughout cooking the almonds on the stovetop

Carefully transfer the sticky nuts to the lined baking sheet. (If you do have a little unabsorbed oil, try to leave it in the pot). Carefully push the nuts to a single layer with the spatula. 

Let cool completely and then enjoy! Keep in an airtight container for storage. 

candied almonds spread out on a lined sheet pan
candied almonds spread out on a sheet pan

Looking for more holiday goodies? You might like these:

jar on a table filled with sweet and spicy candied almonds
candied almonds in a jar with a red string
fresh candied almonds in a hand
almonds in a jar with a red bow

Sweet & Spicy Candied Almonds

Yield: 8 servings
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

sweet & spicy candied almonds without any refined sugars, made in only 15 minutes they make great snacks and gifts during the holiday season

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional, leave off if you bought salted almonds)

Instructions

    1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper, set aside.
    2. Add everything except the almonds to a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil.
    3. Add almonds and continue boiling over medium heat.
      Stir occasionally at the beginning (the first 5 minutes or so).
    4. As the water begins to evaporate and the almonds begin to stick together you will want to begin stirring more frequently as not to burn the maple syrup or the nuts.
      You will continue to boil and stir for about 15 minutes until the almonds are sticking together and all of the water is evaporated.*
    5. Carefully transfer the sticky nuts to the lined baking sheet. (If you do have a little unabsorbed oil, try to leave it in the pot). Carefully push the nuts to a single layer with the spatula. Let cool completely and then enjoy! Keep in an airtight container for storage.

Notes

*Note you might still find a little oil that did not get absorbed at the bottom of the pot, that is okay.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

Did you make this recipe?

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

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From the Original Post…

With the holiday season quickly approaching us, I start to think about all of the fun parties and get togethers that happen in the upcoming month. Every week another gathering with friends, family, and co-workers, always something fun going on! With this season of many parties it is easy to get carried away with delicious finger foods, appetizers, cookies, and good hearty meals. Not that I don’t love all of this food sometimes it is nice to have lighter and healthier versions of all of these delicious treats. So today I am sharing a ‘healthier’ version of one of my favorite holiday finger foods, spiced nuts… Sweet & Spicy Candied Almonds to be exact!

These Sweet & Spicy Candied Almonds are full of flavor and crunchiness just as all good spiced nuts are but are made with natural sweeteners! Subbing out sugar with maple syrup leaves these nuts sweet but not overpowering, and to even out the sweetness a mixture of chili powder, cayenne, and cinnamon is added. These almonds come out with the perfect balance of sweet and spiciness!

These candied almonds couldn’t be easier to put together making it the perfect sharing food, whether it is for your own get together or to bring as a gift to a friends house! Preparation is as easy as placing coconut oil, maple syrup, and the spices into a saucepan and boiling into a delicious candy mixture. Into the candy mixture you will add the almonds, and then place on a sheet to bake! Wait to cool and break into clusters. Bring to a gathering to share and watch everyone dig into your lightened up candied almonds with joy! This mixture and baking method wouldn’t have to be limited to just almonds, any nut or nut mixture would be just as amazing. This would also serve as a great present, add to a jar and tie with a ribbon! Whatever you do with these almonds, you won’t be disappointed. 

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