cinnamon coated almonds

The humble almond kernel coated in sugar & spice became a little signature treat at our Pantry cafe.  A few complimentary almonds on the saucer of a great coffee delighted many customers. But they came with a warning - "beware - highly addictive sweet crunch". Perhaps make this good sized batch and store in a cool dry spot in an airtight jar.  Or halve the recipe if you don’t trust yourself and/or will be snacking alone. I’d love to hear how long they last at your place.  Apparently they keep for up to a month, but I couldn’t say. 10 kilos of them disappeared each week before we could even get a pretty ribbon around the cello bag.

Ingredients1 ½ cups (240 grams) pure icing sugar, sifted ❤ 1 ½ heaped tablespoons ground cinnamon ❤ 5 cups (750 grams) almond kernels 

Method & Tips - Preheat oven to moderate 180°C (350°F). Line two baking dishes or trays with baking paper.

Sift icing sugar and cinnamon together into a large bowl. Reserve a ½ cup of this cinnamon mix.

Rinse almonds in a colander under cold water and then soak for a minute in a bowl before draining the water off.  Do not dry them. Tip damp nuts into the large bowl on top of the cinnamon sugar mix and toss well to coat.  Tip and spread an even single layer of nuts into the prepared baking tray/s. Sift the reserved cinnamon sugar over the nuts. Doesn’t matter if some almonds get a little more mixture than others, makes them even better.

Roast the almonds for 20-25 minutes or until the fragrant smell is driving you crazy and nuts are slightly browned. Twice during cooking give them a quick stir and separate the few clumps. Watch them carefully towards the end of cooking as they burn quickly. 

Let them cool in the baking dish and become crispier. Store in an airtight jar.  Also great packaged in cellophane bags for gourmet gifts. Makes 5 cups.

Top Tips: Use insecticide free local almonds from your health food or bulk foods shop.  Often much cheaper than many supermarket almonds. Any extra baking time increases crunchiness but risks burning! Nuts should be single layer and always best sitting on baking paper. Try to avoid the temptation to add or follow other recipes that coat the nuts with egg white, brown sugar, vanilla extract or maple syrup. It gets pretty sticky and messy.  This relatively dry roasting method using only icing sugar works a treat. And it's sweet enough. Extra coating crumbs left behind on the baking paper are best thrown in with the nuts when storing/packaging for wet fingertips. Enjoy!

I can't wait to share a lovely home-baked herb bread with you tomorrow or Saturday.  Until then, take care.