In Hebrew, the numerical value of the word for nuts, egoz, is 17, the same as the value of the word tov, good. Which means that the two things are related to each other. Hence the prevalence of nuts, particularly almonds, in traditional Jewish wedding celebrations.
Spiced almonds also fit into very modern celebrations as a tasty hors d’oeuvre for a cocktail hour or hors d’oeuvre reception. They can be made a week before serving, which makes them self-catered-wedding-friendly.
This version comes from Gil Marks’ cookbook, The World of Jewish Entertaining: Menus and Recipes for the Sabbath, Holidays, and Other Family Celebrations. It’s a great go-to cookbook for celebrations large and small. Marks also includes in his book a more savory version with rosemary and cayenne pepper.
One of the great things about a cookbook collection is remembering how each book came to be on your kitchen bookshelf. I received this book as a gift after teaching for a few terms at the New North London Synagogue. I miss London! And as Shavuout approaches, I really miss the cheesecake at Paradise Bakery on Golders Green Road. Best cheesecake in the world, you used to be only a short walk from home. Sigh. Let’s see… does Mr. Marks include a cheesecake in his cookbook? He has two! I’m feeling better already.
Ingredients for Spiced Almonds
Makes 4 cups
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
- 4 cups (20 ounces) almonds
- Optional: Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Combine the oil, honey, and spices. Add the almonds and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Roast, stirring occasionally, until the almonds are golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Make Ahead Option
Store the almonds in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.