Sometimes the best things are also the simplest ones. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine brought out a jar of almonds and encouraged me to try one. The nuts were shiny, well-toasted and appeared to have been tossed with coarse sugar. They were Sugared Lavender Almonds and they certainly prove that delicious things come in simple packages. These nuts are easy to make and are a fantastic snack item to keep around the house. They’re crunchy, with hints of both sugar and salt, as well as a subtle floral perfume from dried lavender that makes them seem particularly appropriate for spring.
The recipe starts with a pound of untoasted almonds. The nuts should have their peels removed for the best results, then they should be roasted slowly in the oven until they are completely toasted. The almonds are then tossed with a mixture of sugar, salt, dried lavender and olive oil. The olive oil helps the sugar and salt adhere to the nuts, while the lavender simply permeates the mixture with a soft, floral/herbal aroma. The lavender also goes surprisingly well with the olive oil.
This recipe makes quite a large batch, but the nuts keep extremely well when stored in an airtight container, so expect this batch to last at least two weeks. That bring said, they’re quite addictive and I would be surprised if the actually ended up lasting that long before you have to make another batch.
Sugared Lavender Almonds
16-oz blanched almonds
1/2 cup coarse sugar
2 1/2 tsp dried lavender
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 275F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roast almonds for about 30 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown throughout. Transfer nuts to a large bowl and combine them with sugar, lavender, salt and olive oil. Stir to combine. The nuts will not be completely coated with the sugar mixture, but a fair amount should adhere to the nuts. If necessary, add in an additional teaspoon or two of olive oil. Allow the nuts to cool to room temperature before serving.