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Black Pepper Almonds

Black Pepper Almonds

Black Pepper Almonds

These spicy almonds are perfect at cocktail parties and are very addicting. The brown sugar gives a hint of sweetness, just enough to offset the heat from the black pepper. For this post, I used a mixture of whole nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts & pecans) instead of just almonds. I often make these spicy almonds just before the holidays, package them up in cellophane bags and give them away as Christmas presents.

Black Pepper Almonds

Make a real quick and easy caramel with butter, brown sugar and water. Add the nuts and cook for a few minutes until the syrup thickens and the nuts are well coated.

Black Pepper Almonds

Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat, sprinkle them with salt and pepper and bake for 10 minutes. Cool and serve or store for up to 1 week in an airtight container at room temperature. Serve them alongside a Cranberry-Limoncello Martini this holiday season 


Silicone baking mats are invaluable tools in every kitchen. They save wear and tear on your baking sheets, make clean up much easier and save you money in parchment paper and foil costs. Use them for: roasting tomatoes or winter squash, baking cookies, caramelizing nuts or toasting crostini and granola grains.

Black Pepper Almonds

Recipe by Michael SalmonCourse: Hors d’OeuvresDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 Tablespoon table grind black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

  • 4 teaspoons water

  • 2 1/2 cups whole almonds


  • Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat (or lightly buttered foil.) Mix the black pepper and salt together in a small bowl.
  • Melt the 1/4 cup butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sugar and 4 teaspoons water; stir until sugar dissolves. Add the almonds; toss to coat. Cook over medium heat until syrup thickens and the almonds are well coated, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle half of the pepper mixture over the almonds.
  • Transfer the almonds to the lined baking sheet, using a metal spatula to quickly separate the almonds. Sprinkle the remaining pepper mixture over the nuts. Bake until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.


  1. Michelle Smith

    We are currently in the process of making these for our party favors! Thinking of you always.

  2. Pingback: Cranberry-Limoncello Martini – Chef Michael Salmon

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