Every year at the holidays I make sweet and spicy almonds. They are the perfect blend of sweetness and heat (thanks to cayenne pepper!) and are always well received by family and friends. The recipe, from Everyday Food, is frequently requested so I thought I'd share it here. Double or triple the recipe so you'll have enough to serve at your New Year's Eve party. Enjoy!
Sweet and Spicy Almonds
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread 2-1/2 cups unblanched almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven about 10 minutes, until fragrant.
2) In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse salt and 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper.
3) In a large skillet over medium heat, cook 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon water and 1 teaspoon olive oil, stirring until combined, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and add almonds; toss to coat.
4) Transfer almonds to sugar mixture in bowl (do not scrape extra glaze into bowl) and toss to coat. Cool completely in a single layer before storing in an airtight container. The almonds keep up to two weeks (my bet is they'll be gone before then!).
Tip: when measuring the honey, coat the measuring spoon lightly with oil first. The honey will slide off the spoon easily.