When I was in Canada, we managed to take a quick trip to Granville Island and walked through their massive public market which had everything from freshly made pasta to fresh fruit and seafood. One of the vendors was selling maple glazed nuts and I promptly bought a bag of pecans for the Englishman and then ate most of them before I got home. So to make it up to him I made a batch of maple roasted almonds.
But before we get to the maple roasted almonds, can we talk about maple syrup for a second? Obviously Canada is known for their maple syrup, but I really didn’t believe there was that much of a taste difference until I experienced it for myself. Turns out you can do maple syrup tastings at various shops in Vancouver where you are handed a little shot of maple syrup to try. At the tasting I did, I tried all three of Canada’s maple syrup grades: #1 (very light syrup), #2 (amber syrup) and #3 (very dark amber syrup). In my opinion, #1 was a bit too sweet, #2 was nice and full-bodied, and #3 was almost too rich in flavor. I ended up purchasing a small container of #2 which is most similar to Grade B maple syrup in the US.
So back to the maple roasted almonds. Obviously I was going to use the Canadian maple syrup in this recipe, and since the syrup was rich enough, I just added some cinnamon, salt and a pinch of cayenne. That’s it. The cayenne adds just a small touch of heat without being too overpowering.
Of course this recipe will be just as delicious with regular maple syrup, but if you can get your hands on the good stuff from Canada it will taste that much better. Pinky promise.
Maple Roasted Almonds
1 cup raw almonds
1 tbsp maple syrup (use Grade B if you can)
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cayenne
Preheat your oven to 350F.
In a small bowl mix all your ingredients together, making sure all the almonds are evenly coated.
I think these maple roasted almonds are the perfect snack when you want something sweet but not overly sweet. Or for all your Superbowl fans (Go Broncos!) out there, this is recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a crowd.