Spiced Cocoa Almonds
This was a recipe that I developed for the December 2012 issue of Culinaire magazine. Gram-for-gram, almonds are higher in protein, calcium and some vitamins compared to other tree nuts, and are also a good source of heart-healthy fats. These almonds can be enjoyed alone, or packaged in a trail mix along with some dried cranberries and mint chocolate chips.
Author: Vincci Tsui, RD
Recipe type: Snack, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free
Makes: About 500 g (1 lb) or 4 cups
- ½ cup (125 mL) water
- ½ cup (100 g) sugar
- 1 lb (454 g) raw almonds, about 4 cups (1 L)
- ⅓ cup (40 g) cocoa
- 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
- ½ tsp (2 mL) cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet (or two) with aluminum foil.
- In a small saucepan, make a simple syrup by bringing water and sugar to a boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Spread almonds in a single layer on baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes, until fragrant. Drizzle with syrup and toss to coat; continue baking for another 7-10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the nuts absorb most (but not all) of the syrup.
- While the almonds are baking, in a small bowl, stir together cocoa, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. When the almonds are ready, sprinkle cocoa mixture over almonds and toss to coat. Don’t worry if not all of it sticks to the almonds. Let cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to nine months.