Tomorrow is road trip day and I could not be more ready. My bags are packed, the car's full of gas, and I've got a playlist just waiting for the California coast and some serious sunshine. I'm planning on knitting up a few samples of what's going to be in the La Mercerie shop during the drive, so I'll have some sneak peeks to share when I get back!
I don't know about you, but when it comes to road trips, I'm all about the snacks. Be prepared, right? I mean, what if you're suck in the middle of nowhere without any treats to keep you going? Growing up, my mom used to do the same thing on airplanes-we always had a snack for the tarmac, just in case. Does that mean I can blame my love of truck stops and cheez-its on her? I'm sure that's the reason I eat so much junk food on the road...
This trip, I'm ready. These almonds are the most addictive, sweet-and-savory-all-at-the-same-time, best road trip snack ever. They've got a little bit of a kick to them from some ground ginger and red pepper flakes, but it's balanced out by the caramelized sugar. The flavors seem pretty simple on their own, but are pretty perfect when put together. Seriously though...it's taken everything I've got to keep myself from eating the two jars we have packed away for the road.
Sesame Ginger Almonds
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cup sugar, divided into 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup
2 tbsp canola oil
3 cups blanched whole almonds (if your local store doesn't have these whole, here's a quick tutorial on blanching almonds at home)
- Mix the first 6 ingredients, using 1/4 cup sugar, and set aside.
- Heat oil in a saute pan until very hot. Add nuts and toast slightly.
- Sprinkle in 1/2 cup sugar and caramelize, shaking the pan from side to side to prevent burning.
- Add the spice mixture and toss to coat. I like to let it caramelize just a bit more once the spices are on, but be careful-the red pepper flakes are pretty rough on your airways if they burn too much.
- Spread the almonds out to cool on a baking sheet. Try not to eat them all at once.