Candies / Desserts / Holidays / Special Occasions / Writing

Santa’s Sweet And Spicy Nuts!

Santa Started Sweet

I have thought about guest bloggers…I know so many good cooks.

I finally took action and asked Craig Boroughf. Craig has shared his recipes before, French Breakfast Radishes and Carmen’s Prize Winning Meatballs…thank you Craig for being my first guest blogger.

The words and photography that follow are a gift from one of my favorite chefs, Craig Boroughf.

Sugar and Spice


You’ll find these two colorful gentlemen, accompanied by a nearly a dozen ice sculptures , on Central Avenue in Highland Park.  Nattily attired in their holiday garb they signal a warm welcome to all who pass by.

And everything nice…

Crack.  Crunch.

Sweet.  Spicy.

Fennel.  Pepper, red.

Sugar.  Spice.

Mmm.  Oh my! Mmm.

Just one more.  Another.

Recipe?  Of course!

New.  Different.  Surprising.  Special.

Like Family.  Like Friends.


Sugar & Spice Glazed Almonds 

To slightly crush whole fennel seeds, place in heavy duty zip-lock bag and pound with rolling pin or meat tenderize. This recipe can be prepared one week ahead.

¾ cup sugar

1 Tbsp salt, kosher

3 Tbsp fennel seeds (slightly crushed)

4 cups whole almonds

1 tsp dried crushed red pepper

¼ cupwater

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Line heavy baking sheet with foil; top with Silpat baking mat. If not using Silpat, line baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil.
  3. Combine all ingredients (sugar, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, salt, almonds and water) in medium bowl.
  4. Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet in single layer. Bake until sugar melts and almonds are deep golden brown and glazed, stirring twice; 45 to 50 minutes.
  5. Cool completely on sheet. Almonds should resemble a very thin almond brittle. Break/separate almonds apart.
  6. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Store in plastic bag.) Transfer almonds to bowl and serve.

Servings: 12

Yield: Makes 4 cups

Tips: If almonds stick together, which always happens to me, place large pieces of the almonds in a large heavy-duty ziploc freezer bag. Break almonds apart through bag. This will contain the sugar crumbs, etc., that otherwise tend to get very messy.

Gather The Ingredients


Ready to spread

Out Of The Oven

Happy Holidays


6 thoughts on “Santa’s Sweet And Spicy Nuts!

  1. Craig B. Great choice!
    Very advenurous spicing of the nuts, especially during the holidays. Pairing with wine is a good idea, Something Santa and his helpers will enjoy!

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