My Christmas Present to You – Creme Brulee Almonds Recipe
Hi. It’s me. You may vaguely recall I used to write blog posts. It has been a wild several months. I worked like a dog in our yard, building our garden, planting trees, flowers, berries, all kinds of things. Then it was canning/freezing season and I canned and froze a ton, lots of new recipes. School started. I was still canning. And then…I got pregnant, and I pretty much haven’t done anything since I hit the wall (which mercifully was a few days after we finished canning). I’ve been scraping by on less than the bare minimum of activity. My poor kids have been lacking clean clothes for… a while.
But I have a Christmas present for you to make up for my very long absence (and no promises of when my next post will be, because I still feel rotten). Have you ever had those creme brulee almonds from the company with a peanut as a mascot? They are delish. Adam put them in my stocking last year. But I felt so conflicted for eating them and wanting more. They epitomize everything I’m against in the food world. Processed, mystery ingredients that play dirty tricks on your body. They took something as wonderful as almonds and coated them in chemicals, and made them delicious, those evil scientists. I’ve thought about those tasty almonds ever since. I scoured the internet on more than one occasion looking for a recipe, but all I found was the cinnamon almonds recipe that everyone has. So I had to make up my own. And they are very good. I haven’t had the ones from the blue can in about a year, so I won’t swear they are identical, but they have to be very close. Anyway, they are good. It took me three tries to get them just right, and each batch was 4 cups, and they never made it off the pan. My kids devoured them. These are perfect for neighbor/teacher/co-worker/boss/everyone gifts (um, if any of you are my neighbors. etc., act surprised). Mine are going in cute quilted canning jars. These are supremely easy, thank goodness, because I just can’t do much these days (come on second wind! You are overdue!). Did I mention I love them? They are perfect as a snack, or on a salad, or in yogurt, or anything. You can have these mixed up in 5 minutes.
Creme Brulee Almonds
1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water
3.5-4 cups whole almonds *
1 tbsp melted butter
3 tsp vanilla
6 T raw sugar cane sugar**
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Beat the egg white and water until frothy with a fork in a medium bowl. Add the vanilla and whisk for just a second. Add the almonds, and stir until well coated. Add the melted butter and stir again (make sure the butter is not blistering hot or you will cook your egg white, and that is gross. That is why I don’t just add it to the egg white mixture before the almonds. I melted mine 15 seconds in the microwave). Mix the sugar and salt, and sprinkle over the nuts. Stir the nuts until they are well coated. Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper (I tried a Silpat first, but mine is not quite as big as the jelly roll pans I have, so I still had to wash the perimeter of the pan because of the stirring).
Roast the almonds for 1 hour, stirring after 30 minutes.
Allow to cool***, then beat off anyone in the vicinity.
Send me a jar out of sheer gratitude.
*As you mix the almonds there shouldn’t be a bunch of the coating pooled in the bottom of your bowl. If there is, all you are doing is wasting that syrup. It will make the parchment paper taste good, but it won’t increase the flavor in the almonds. Only so much of the syrup will stick to the almonds. Many of the recipes I looked at called for 3 cups of sugar and recommended eating the crystalized goodness off the pan. Unnecessarily wasteful. So the almonds should be well coated, but not a bunch in your bowl.
**Raw sugar cane sugar has more flavor than white refined sugar. Smell it. It smells great! Don’t get all smarty pants on me and think you are going to just dig into that bag of brown sugar and double the flavor quotient/save a trip to the store, because you won’t. Don’t you think I tried that already? Because I did. And while they were good with brown sugar, they look and taste COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. So use brown sugar if that sounds good to you, but it won’t taste anything like these. Even my 7 taste testers (my kids, my dad and my husband) were adamant that they prefer these over the brown sugar ones, and they weren’t even comparing them to the originals I was trying to replicate. In fact they liked the brown sugar ones a lot before I made these, but now they don’t want them. Brown sugar is good, but these are BETTER.
***When these come out and you see they have cooled off enough to pop one in your mouth you will grumble under your breath and pop them back in the oven. That would be a mistake. You will overcook them. They are not crunchy right out of the oven. They are not crunchy 20 minutes out of the oven. You have to wait for them to cool completely before they will be crunchy. Give them an hour (I didn’t really time it, I just came back periodically and tried some to see if they were crunchy yet).
So this will save you money, give you an easy/delicious/fast holiday gift, and none of those nasty chemicals in your body.
Am I forgiven?