Crispy “burned” almonds

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To keep within the crunchy side of life, not at least of Christmas, why not make your own burned almonds. Walking through town these days with all the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, there’s nothing more appealing than the stands selling burned almonds, these reddish-brown small wonders covered either in crispy croquantish caramel or the “drier” version where the sugar hasn’t caramelized.

Following my post on the crunchy side of Christmas, you might thing I would cheer for the croquant types. Well, I wouldn’t. I prefer the other kind that are a little gentler on your teeth. Making the almonds are pretty straight forward, so if you on the way home accidentally ate all almonds (you didnt’t, did ya? you rascal, you!), here’s how you make some more.

Combine equal amounts of water, water (non-blanched), sugar and a pinch of salt in a heavy saucepan. Put it on high heat and stir once in a while until it starts to thicken. From now on, you have to stir all the time. Otherwise it will burn. If you’re like me and like the not overly crunchy type (did i say that?) you stop cooking when the sugar goes reddish brown and lava-like and starts sticking to the almonds. Transfer the whole thing to a heat proof dish and cool a little before you separate the almonds with a fork.

For variation add a little spice, cinnamon and cardamom both work well. If you end up cooking the almonds too long and it turn in to brittle – well, it could be worse, ’cause you’ve got, you guessed it, brittle. And who don’t like brittle? Chop it up and drizzle over your favorite vanilla ice cream. Voilá!

The almonds will keep in an air tight container but I doubt that’ll be necessary. Munch away, ya’ll.

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