Smoked Spicy Maple Glazed Almonds

Apr 21

Written by:
4/21/2011 10:26 AM  RssIcon

This is one of my all time snack favorites for any time. The are easy to prepare and realtively healthy as well. I get frequent requests from family and friends. The smoky mix of the maple syrup and Cajun spices creates a smoky-crunchy-candy-glazed nut with the perfect blend of maple sweetness, salt and spicy heat with a hint of hickory smoke. A health snack for anytime!

Smoked Spicy Maple Glazed Almonds

1 pound raw almonds with skin on 
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 tbsp cajun seasoning (I use 
COOKSHACK Spicy Chicken Rub)

Preferably in a non-stick saucepan, heat syrup along with the cajun seasonings just to a very low simmer and turn off heat. Add the almonds and stir well to coat well; cool just a bit in the pan stirring frequently. Cooling allows more of the mix to coat the almonds.

Place on your preferred implement for smoking; you can lightly oil your hands to help press into an even layer. For my smoker I prefer to use 
Frogmats non-stick mats for an even smoke, tho' any smoker safe rack will work. Place almonds in prepared smoker set at 250˚ degrees. I use my Cookshack smoker preheated to 250º and use about 2 ounces of hickory chunks. Allow to smoke for two hours.
Remove from smoker and immediately place the hot pecans in a large mixing bowl. Stir and toss in the mixing bowl for a few minutes to cool the nuts. I use my hands in this process to separate any nuts that may have become stuck together; yes it's a bit hot at first. Continue tossing and mixing the nuts until sufficiently cooled to a hard candy coating; at this point the nuts will no longer stick together. This is a process best done in dry weather as high humidity conditions can affect the hardening of the coating.  

These can be very addictive, so remember that the daily full-dose for natural almonds is 74 grams or 2.61 ounces.

Notes: If you don't have a smoker you can make Spicy Maple Pecans in the oven by following the basic instructions and put the nuts on a non-stick silicon mat in your oven preheated to 250º. Since all oven tend to operate a little differently, just check the nuts periodically to determine when they are done. I haven't tried it but you might try adding just a bit of liquid smoke to the syrup spice mix; just be very careful not to overdo it.

This recipe also works very well with pecans. However since pecans are less dense and have a much more surface area by weight than almonds be sure to add a couple more tablespoons more syrup to fully coat the pecans.

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