This Instructable will cover the creation of Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds! Just like the ones you get from the fair minus the copper kettle cooker thingy.
It's super duper simple, even my kitchen-challenged friend Allyson can handle it. I love her to death, but she burns water. It's intense.
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools Needed.
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups o' raw almonds (the bulk section of your local grocery store. If not there, check a Trader Joe's or something)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (dark or light, it's really just a taste preference)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large bowl
1 medium bowl
1 small bowl
Cookie sheets (quantity changes based on how many almonds you're making)
-- I used two sheets for this project.
Step 2: Preheat the Oven!
First, we have to PREHEAT the OVEN to 250 degrees F (which is roughly 120 degrees C).
[I often forget to do this first, so when everything's ready to go in, I have to wait another twenty minutes because I'm an idiot.]
"But Jason, why such a low oven temperature? I want to eat these delicious crunchy almonds as soon as possible!"
Let me answer that for you using a combination of kitchen-science facts and making-stuff-up-based-on-assumed-facts:
Almonds are dense critters. Seriously, cut one in half and you'll see what I'm talking about. Also, there's a fair bit of water in them. So through a combination of trial-and-error and watching "Good Eats", cooking foods with a lot of water in them at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time gets rid of MORE water without comprimising the quality of the food. In this case, we don't want burnt almonds, we just want thoroughly roasted almonds.
Step 3: Beat the Egg Like It Owes You Money!
But BEFORE we actually assault the eggs, we need to add a little something to make the eggs frothy without turning into souffle stuffs. Hence, the vanilla.
So add that teaspoon of vanilla and then start whisking. You will develop serious whisking muscles, so don't stop when it starts to hurt. Just push on through! I believe in you!
Step 4: On to the Dry Goods!
In the medium bowl, combine the sugars, salt and cinnamon until it's a pretty brownish-white mixture. It will look EXACTLY as you expect it to look.
Step 5: Time to Get Messy!
Now you're going to dump the almonds into the large bowl and then pour the egg white-vanilla mixture all over them. I used the whisk (minimizing clean-up is huge for me) to make sure that every almond is thoroughly covered in the eggy stuff, but I suppose you could use your hands, too.
Either way, you're about 90% done!
Step 6: Sheet It Up!
Break out your cookie sheets and make sure you grease them a bit. I used Pam For Baking, but you could also use parchment paper for even easier clean-up.
Once your sheets are prepared, dump the slimy almonds in a single layer across the sheets. A little easier said than done, but just work with them and they'll straighten out.
Now that they're on the sheets, take the sugar mixture and beginning LIBERALLY covering the almonds with the stuff. I don't have a picture of THAT step, but it's pretty self-explanatory. If possible, save just a little bit of the sugar mixture for use in the next step.
So close, folks!
Step 7: Cook the Suckers!
Go ahead and throw the cookie sheets in the oven. I used the top and third-from-the-top racks, but in the end, it doesn't really matter. Now you just set the timer for one hour and fifteen minutes.
At the same time, set a separate timer for twenty minutes. When this second timer goes off, just give the almonds in the oven a quick mix-up, but make sure to get them back in a single layer. And if you saved any of the sugar mixture, go ahead and sprinkle the remaining stuff over the almonds. That'll make sure that everyone of them is covered in goodness.
Just for good measure, go ahead and check the almonds again towards the last twenty minutes and give them another quick mix. That way, any almonds you might have missed are getting direct heat.
Step 8: Aaaaand DONE! WHOO!
Give them about ten minutes or so to cool and give one a taste. If it's crunchy, sweet, salty and a little buttery, you have successfully roasted almonds. Congrats!
If they don't taste very good, pop them back in for another ten to fifteen minutes and then try. They SHOULD be good by then.
These are great as gifts or as just a snack. I bring them to work with me and sneak one out of the pocket every couple of minutes. Just don't let your boss see you eating, or you'll probably get in trouble. :)
Enjoy them, folks! I'm eating some right now.