I’ve always had a soft spot for snacks and nibbles – things that can be grabbed by the handful and absentmindedly munched in between meals, to keep the hunger at bay.
Salty things, in particular, are my weakness. Some people have a sweet tooth, but what I have is most definitely a salt tooth… I’ll take the cheese plate over dessert after a fancy meal (unless there’s creme brulee involved, that is), I can snarf down an entire container of olives in the blink of an eye, and I can easily make a meal from the antipasto cart at the supermarket.
(High blood pressure? What’s that?)
Put all that together, and it’s obvious that salty little snacky bites are my vice, my achilles heel, my kryptonite.
So much so that, when these little suckers first came out of the oven, I may have eaten one straight off the tray. I may have also burned my tongue on molten-hot honey glaze. Maybe. Patience isn’t exactly my strong suit. :)
So yes, I do recommend letting the almonds cool off *completely* before snagging a handful. I also recommend putting the jar on a really high shelf, so that you’re not tempted to eat the whole batch in a single sitting… particularly if you’re planning on serving these to guests.
No, really. I eat these so compulsively they may as well be coated in crack. (Though that may have something to do with the fact that smoked paprika qualifies as an addictive substance in my house.)
Even with a burned tongue, these are wickedly good. They’re salty and sweet and spicy and smoky all at once… if these hadn’t already been earmarked for guests coming over later that day, there’s a very good chance The Boy and I might have eaten the whole darn batch in a single sitting.
Lastly, I recommend putting out a very small bowl, lest your guests also find these almonds so tasty that everyone is too full to eat by the time the main course comes around. Save the rest to snack on another day… like, tomorrow.
(Most important of all, though, I recommend not forgetting to put out the darn nuts when your guests arrive. Not that it’s ever happened to me or anything.)
- 3 cups raw almonds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh thyme, finely chopped
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp honey
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- In a medium sized bowl, toss the almonds with the olive oil, thyme, paprika and salt until thoroughly coated. Spread out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and transfer to a mixing bowl, leaving the oven on.
- Drizzle honey over the almonds, and toss until evenly coated. Return the almonds to the baking sheet, spreading out in an even layer. Continue baking until almonds are toasted and golden-brown, about 12-15 minutes longer.
- Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a pretty bowl and serve. Leftovers will keep for around a week in an airtight container.