Spicy Cocoa Roasted Almonds

I intended to make some honey roasted almonds for Christmas, but I never got around to it.  It turns out that my procrastination paid off a bit.  About a week ago, I was at the grocery store, and I saw that they had giant tubs of almonds on sale, leftover from the bulk displays at the holidays.  So, I picked up a tub, planning to make my honey roasted almonds after all, even if it was a few weeks late.

Last night, as I was getting out all of the ingredients to make some of the honey roasted almonds, I spotted some cocoa powder hanging out in my pantry. At that moment, inspiration struck, and I decided that I would make some cocoa roasted almonds with a bit of Mexican flair – adding cinnamon and some cayenne pepper.  The cayenne pepper doesn’t make the almonds too spicy, they just have a hint of heat (you can add more or less, depending on how spicy you like your food).

If you’re participating in the #10in10 challenge, I recommend giving these almonds a try! They are a great chocolatey snack that’s pretty good for you, too. You might want to divide them up into small portions, though, to keep from eating too many at a time. Trust me!

Spicy Cocoa Roasted Almonds

  • 3 cups whole almonds
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • Few drops of water
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on your taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 275°F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Whisk together the egg white, vanilla bean paste, and a few drops of water in a mixing bowl.  Beat mixture until it is light and frothy.  Add the almonds and toss to evenly coat with the egg white mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugars, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt.  Whisk together to remove any lumps.  Add the almonds, and toss to coat.  Spread the coated almonds out on the prepared baking sheet.  Roast for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.  Keep a close watch on the almonds because they will burn quickly.

Once the almonds are done, spread them out on a large piece of parchment or waxed paper until they have cooled completely (it’s OK to snack on a few while they cool… That’s what I did!).  Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

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51 Responses to Spicy Cocoa Roasted Almonds
  1. Valerie Sargent
    December 9, 2013 | 3:46 pm

    First, let me tell you the spicy cocoa nuts are great! I had to make vanilla bean paste first though. Also, I used wax paper cause I did not have parchment, and some of the nuts stuck. Did they stick to parchment? Thanks!

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