Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cinnamon Spiced Almonds

My father-in-law loves almonds.  He also loves to shop Costco.  One day, several months ago, he was wandering around Costco and spied a deal on almonds. So the bargain deal made its way into the cart and that was that. Pleased with his purchase, when he got home he dug into his bag of almonds.  And then proceeded to tell my mother-in-law that the giant bag of almonds he got such a deal on tasted terrible.  When my mother-in-law looked at the bag, she asked him where in the store he found them.  Apparently the deal was in the baking aisle.  That's when my mother-in-law explained that they were raw almonds, not the roasted ones he was used to finding in the snack aisle.  And then she packed them into a zip top bag and held them for me when I stopped by a few days later, figuring that I could use them in baking.  Since then, the almonds have had a home in my freezer, and while I've used a few now and then, I really hoped to find a way to use them up in one sweet treat.  After seeing candied almonds in a local store for the holidays, my wheels started turning.  These are excellent, slightly sweet with a little cinnamon and spice to balance the nuttiness of the toasted almonds.  And so super easy to make.  You'll wonder why you've never done it before.

This recipe came from Sarah and Dulcie at Two Tarts and I really liked how they used a few different spices to create a seasonal sweet flavor to pair with the almonds.  Alternatively, you could include a variety of nuts such as almonds, walnuts or pecans to make a nice selection of flavors.  Packaged up in little bags, these would make great hostess gifts.

Cinnamon Spiced Almonds

2 egg whites
4 cups whole raw almonds (or a combination of your preferred nuts)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl, whisk the two egg whites until broken up and beginning to foam.

Add the nuts and stir well to coat completely in egg white.  Note: You basically want the nuts to all look wet.

Add the sugar and spices and stir well to coat.

Spread the nuts into a single thin layer on two Silpat or parchment lined baking sheets.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 30-40 minute or  until nuts are not longer sticky.  Let cool completely.  Break apart and store in airtight containers.

Makes 4 cups.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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