I don’t know about you, but I have a slight addiction to snacking on nuts. I’m not really particular when it comes to nuts, I’m pretty much an equal opportunist and will eat them all. If I had to pick a least favorite it would probably be walnuts, although if you put them in banana bread I won’t object. I really love when nuts are roasted and seasoned with either spices or sugar. These Rosemary and Chili Roasted Almonds are the perfect solution when you want both a sweet and spicy flavored nut!
I have a confession to make, I nearly burnt the crap out of these almonds. You may notice in the pictures that they are a tad darker than you may want them. Well that’s because stupid me wasn’t paying attention to her kitchen timer and when the timer went off continued working away and before I knew it I started smelling over-baked nuts! I ran to the oven, threw open the door, and pulled those babies out of there faster than you can say “aww nuts”!
Anyways, I stood over them debating if they were still okay to use or beyond the point of no return. Honestly it was a toss up. They tasted fine, but the color was still borderline burnt. Finally after standing there pouting for a good long time I said screw it and wasn’t about to throw away six dollars worth of almonds, I hate wasting food! So please don’t judge these delicious Rosemary and Chili Roasted Almonds on their tad too dark appearance, that was my fault not the nuts’ fault.
Aside from the color lets talk about the incredible sweet, salty, slightly spicy flavor that these almonds are packing. The sweetness comes from a combination of brown sugar, maple syrup, and fresh orange juice. That combination alone is good enough to coat anything in. For those of you who need a little something to balance out the sweetness, this is where the rosemary, chili powder, cayenne, and salt enter into the mix. If you’ve never added herbs to nuts it’s an absolute must try. I chose rosemary because of it’s piney flavor that goes so well with the maple and citrus flavors, and because it holds up well in the oven. The sweet and salty rosemary and chili coating on the almonds gives them even more crunch and I guarantee you will find them downright addicting. Just be sure to pay attention to your oven timer and don’t forget about them like I did!
- 2 cups whole almonds, unsalted
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grapeseed oil, or other flavorless oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with cooking spray.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together all of the ingredients except the almonds and 1/2 teaspoon of the rosemary.
- Add the almonds to the mixture and toss them until they are coated.
- Pour the almonds out onto the prepared baking sheet and place them on the middle rack of the oven.
- Bake the almonds for 5 minutes then remove them and toss them around using a spatula.
- Place the almonds back in the oven and bake them for another 12-15 minutes, tossing them around 2-3 more times.
- Remove the almonds from the oven and sprinkle on the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary along with another pinch of kosher salt.
- Let the nuts cool completely before serving.
Keep a close eye on the almonds while they bake to prevent them from burning.