There are countless treats to be sampled and tasted this season. From the simple to the complex, kitchens overflow with cookies, candies, and other pastries during the holidays. At this time of year (and during the rest of the year to be honest), we love the simplicity of this recipe for caramelized almonds from the ICE Pastry & Baking Arts curriculum. They are perfect for having in a bowl for snacking during parties. You can opt to cover the nuts in chocolate, or try a dusting of powdered sugar. You can also play with adding spices like chili powder or cinnamon when you coat the nuts in the sugar. Go nuts!
400 grams whole almonds
130 grams granulated sugar
45 grams water
1/2 vanilla bean
120 grams tempered bittersweet chocolate
Toast almonds in a 300° F oven, to warm slightly, and place in a bowl.
Cook the sugar, water and vanilla bean to 115°C (240°F).
Add almonds to the sugar mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly. The sugar will caramelize and coat the nuts.
Pour almonds onto a parchment lined sheet tray and carefully separate with a fork. Allow them to cool.
Once cooled either serve the nuts caramelized or enrobe in tempered chocolate.
To enrobe, pour the nuts into a mixing bowl and toss with approximately one ounce of tempered chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set and repeat one or two more times until all the almonds are fully covered.
After the last coating while nuts are still wet, drop almonds into sifted cocoa powder or confectioners’ sugar and gently toss to cover.
Allow the nuts to set and sift gently to remove any excess cocoa or sugar.