Easy Smoked Almonds

A lot of entertaining happens between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, so it's nice to have a few easy, crowd-pleasing options to wrap up your holiday season. These smoked almonds will be one of the simplest things you'll make, but they're startlingly addictive!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups blanched almonds, divided
  • ¾-1 cup olive oil
  • 1½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • TIPS:
  • The best almonds for this tasty treat are Spain's famous Marcona almonds, which are plumper and more flavorful than most others. You can use natural (not blanched) almonds if you wish, but it's harder to tell when they've reached just the right stage of doneness. On the positive side, the rough skins of natural nuts retain more of the richly flavored paprika.
  • The ideal smoked paprika is genuine Spanish "Pimenton de la Vera." If that's not readily available in your area, feel free to use what you can find. The almonds will still be delicious.

Directions

  1. Heat your oven to 150°-200°F to keep the almonds warm afterward.

  2. Measure half the almonds into an 8″ or 9″ skillet and add enough olive oil to just cover them. Heat the skillet to a medium-high temperature until the nuts begin to crackle, then reduce the temperature to medium and cook for another 5 minutes or until they’re light gold in color.

  3. Transfer the nuts from the hot oil to a plate or bowl lined with paper towels. Slide them into the oven to keep warm.

  4. Add the remaining nuts to the skillet and top it up with additional oil if they aren’t covered. Cook the second batch for approximately 7 minutes until they’re as golden and aromatic as the first batch. Scoop those from the hot oil to the towel-lined dish as well.

  5. Combine the fine salt and Spanish smoked paprika in a brown paper bag. Shake to mix them. Pour the warm nuts into the bag and shake vigorously for a few seconds. Shake out the coated nuts into one or more serving bowls and serve immediately or keep them warm until you’re ready to serve.