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.

Fresh out of the oven. You can see the coating hasn’t solidified. DON’T TOUCH THEM. You can see there is very little of the sugar coating on the pan. It’s on the almonds.

This is how they look after the candy coating has hardened and dried. You need to make these. Put them in someone’s stocking or mailbox or your mouth.

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?

16 comments to My Christmas Present to You – Creme Brulee Almonds Recipe

  • Knowing how good all your recipes are, I can’t wait to try it. Happen to have some almonds in the pantry and a sabbath day tomorrow, too!

  • Aaron, congrats on the sweet new baby! How exciting! I’m so glad you like the almonds. We love them. I need to make more myself. Valentine’s Day seems like a great excuse. My kids keep asking for them. Make another batch and hide half so you can taste them once they are crunchy and completely cooled. It’s worth it.

  • Aaron

    I have been saving this recipe until I had time to make it. We just had our first child on December 24th so time has been hard to come by these days. They are currently cooling but my wife and I can’t stop eating them. I will probably need to make another batch today because I’m sure they will all be eaten before they even cool.

  • Jody how did they turn out?

  • Jody

    I have some in the oven baking. Can’t wait to try them!

  • Lisa I’m so glad you like them! We love them too. I might add a touch more vanilla with this batch to see what I think of that.

  • Lynn pecans or walnuts would be delicious!

  • They’re not totally cooled yet, but I can’t stop eating them. I think they’re perfect! Totally addicting but not over the top sweet. This is exactly my kind of almond. I can only eat a few of the kind you buy in the mall because I just think they are SO sweet you can’t even taste the nut. Just put in my second batch…I think I’ll just make them all! Thanks again!

  • Lynn

    Can you use pecans or walnuts instead of almonds? My doctor has said no more almonds for me.

  • Well Lisa I hope I’m not a liar! We love these! My kids won’t stay out of them. I have to make more today bc we need more neighbor gifts. I love how easy they are. And they are a little different. If you end up with too many bring some to us :)

  • P.S. Totally overestimated how many almonds to buy (I was just buying out of a bulk bin). I think I bought enough to make like 6 batches of this. Oh well :) .

  • I have these roasting in the oven as I type…if they truly are as good as you say they are, I will be ecstatic because I can’t believe how EASY they were to make! I was in need of a yummy treat for neighborhood friends/nursery teachers and stuff and was about to resort to just chocolate chip cookies because I didn’t want to do anything complicated. And then I saw your post! I think these will be perfect and way more fun/tasty to give. Thanks for sharing April!

  • Amy, I can’t wait for my kids to be old enough to delegate to…sounds dreamy!

  • Misty, Happy Chanukah my friend! Wish I could bring you some almonds!

  • This is what I wanted to make this year for gifts, but I didn’t like my recipe enough. To next year, thank you. I made Naturally Leavened Ginger Crinkles this year. Ahem, my kids made the cookies.

  • misty l.

    glorious. can’t wait to try these!!!!

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