How to Make It
Preheat oven to 300°F. Bring water and 1/2 cup of the sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over high; reduce heat to medium, and add almonds. Cook until skins begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Drain almonds, and transfer to a large bowl; immediately toss with five spice powder, salt, cayenne, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar, adding more five spice powder to taste.
Spread almonds in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until almonds are crunchy and sugar crystallizes, about 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, and cool completely, about 30 minutes.