Thursday, March 06, 2014

Honey Chipotle Spiced Glazed Almonds

Now that Baby Girl Samuel is half-way baked (as of tomorrow), Robbie and I are busy thinking of things we want to teach her, show her and basically force upon her so she turns into the perfect combination of the two of us.  These things include a love for food, diabetic cats, and most importantly, a love for Duke University.  Particularly a deep and abiding support of its athletics department and specifically its basketball team.  Some of our friends realize this and are showering her with gifts, quickly falling into first place for godparent (just kidding, Alexis). 

Nonetheless, we live and breathe Duke basketball in this apartment.  Robbie, for example, would like to name the baby Jabari-a Parker Samuel.  Unfortunately for him, I am holding the lead in the name race with Mary Jordan Samuel, Jr.   We’ll see who wins out. I hope for her sake, neither of us do.

This weekend is a big game for Duke.  We play that other school down the road (bless their hearts) in what should be an emotional and action-packed game.  We are coming off of a loss and UNC is coming off of a somewhat mediocre season (although they beat Duke in Chapel Hill) and some pretty serious fraudulent academic allegations, which have been an absolute delight to follow in the news.

So Saturday night should be fun.  I imagine a lot of friends back in North Carolina will be watching it and should they be looking for some munchies to enjoy during the game, I recommend these almonds.  They are sweet and spicy (but not too spicy) and incredibly easy to make.  I used to think fancy nuts were something I had to spend $5.00/ounce on but nope, hit up the bulk bin at your local grocery store and make some fancy ones yourself.  At least you can enjoy some good snacks during the game no matter the outcome for your team.   

Honey Chipotle Spiced Glazed Almonds
Adapted slightly from A Southern Fairytale

1 lb raw almonds
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp chipotle pepper powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp granulated white sugar
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
Kosher Salt (optional)

Preheat your oven to 325°F and prepare rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a medium saucepan, heat the honey, butter and salt until melted.  Once the mixture is melted and starts to simmer, remove the saucepan from the heat and add almonds, stirring with a rubber spatula until all almonds have been coated with the mixture.  Dump the almonds onto your prepared baking sheet and spread them evenly.  Bake almonds for 10 minutes then stir them once.  Bake the almonds for another five minutes and stir them once more.  Bake for five more minutes and remove them from the oven.  While the almonds are baking, mix your spices together – the chipotle chili powder, cinnamon, garlic powder and sugars.  Once you’ve removed the almonds from the oven, sprinkle the mixed spices onto the nuts and toss them on the baking sheet with a spatula until fully coated. (NOTE: The original recipe recommends you line a counter or additional baking sheet with parchment to do this step but I was too lazy and didn’t want to dirty another baking sheet.  Also, what New York City apartment has extra counter space?  Certainly not this one.) Sprinkle with kosher salt to add an extra bite of saltiness.  Let them cool on the sheet and periodically stir them to keep them from sticking together.   You may have to do some declumping as they cool but that just gives you an excuse to eat a mixture of hardened butter, honey, salt and spices. 

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