Time to go nuts ... for candied almonds. Or as we call it, almond crack. Be forewarned -- you will need to make two batches, one for gift-giving, and one for you if you make the "mistake" of testing a few before packing them up.
In the out-of-focus background is one of the gift trays I made. Several of these trays, along with 15 (!) 1-pound boxes of candy, will be divvied out to theHubby's clients as Chanukah or other holiday gifts. I'll show more photos eventually (this is called a teaser, to get you curious and to increase the odds of you visiting this blog more often. Hope it works ...).
Candied almonds are (is?) another confection where a silicon baking mat is much more mucho better than greased foil. I've made candied almonds on separate occasions using both, and boy, there's no comparison. With foil, the spatula scrapes along the foil, eventually shredding it, forcing you to pick out all those micro-shreds ... unless you prefer listing it as an ingredient. With a baking mat, the sugar gives the illusion of chemically bonding with the mat, but it all oh-so-easily rinses off later. One caveat: to avoid scratching the baking sheet, use a silicon or wooden spatula during the turning-and-lifting step.
Cinnamon and Sugar Almonds
slightly adapted from melskitchencafe
Yield: about 2 cups of candied almonds
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 egg white, room temperature
1 tsp. cold water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 (6 oz.) bags unsalted whole almonds
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place a silicon baking mat on a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Set both aside.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, use electric mixer (preferably with a whisk attachment) to beat egg white until a stiff peak forms.
Add the water and vanilla; beat again until a stiff peak again forms.
Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in almonds.
After almonds are evenly coated with egg whites, fold in cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Pour the almonds onto prepared baking sheet, spreading them out into a single layer.
Bake for an hour, stirring and flipping almonds every 15 minutes.
Almonds are done when the coating looks dry and if you pick up an almond the coating is not sticky but hard and crunchy.
Cool completely. Store in a tightly closed container for up to a few days at room temperature, or in the fridge for up to a week.