Fall is officially here, and it’s time to start thinking about holiday baking and gift giving, right?
At Trader Joe’s, they used to have these amazing cinnamon roasted almonds and the girls loved them. Then, of course, they stopped carrying them. I didn’t think too much about it, but every now and then, the girls would say, “Remember those yummy cinnamon almonds we used to get?”. Then I would think about them. We also got some when we were in Portland with my dear friend Lisa exploring the different fun neighborhoods – and street vendors! – those were yummy too.
So, the other day, when I was at Trader Joe’s, I noticed they had some maple almonds, and I got kind of excited, thinking they would be like the cinnamon ones. NOPE. Not at all. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I was so disappointed. Don’t eat a maple flavored almond thinking it will taste anything like a cinnamon one. So now you know that I had to try to recreate the wonderful cinnamon almonds the girls and I remembered and loved so much.
Turns out these almonds are really easy to make – yay! I found this recipe, from allrecipes.com, and it is a great springboard for making these almonds to exactly suit your taste. Basically, you beat an egg white and some vanilla (or water) until frothy, stir in raw almonds, add sugar, salt and spices, and then bake with an occasional stir… BAM! You’ve got your almonds!
For us, we need a LOT of cinnamon… waaaayyyy more than the original recipe calls for. It might seem like too much, but if you think about it, those street fair cinnamon almonds always have a big punch of cinnamon flavor. And we are big cinnamon-heads (is that a thing?) over here. When we make cinnamon toast, our cinnamon sugar has LOADS of cinnamon in it, and for our french toast, we like a generous dusting of straight cinnamon… you get the picture. So I knew I was on the right track when I increased the cinnamon by a ridiculous amount.
Finally, I had a bit of an accident the first time I made these. Two of the almonds ended up on the bottom of the oven, so they were a tiny bit scorched. I pulled them out, and found that I liked them better than the rest of the batch! So I increased the oven temp by a tad and baked the rest of the almonds for another half hour so they would be well roasted. Sometimes accidents make for really good recipes!
Cinnamon Roasted Almonds
(Adapted from Cinnamon-Roasted-Almonds)
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (or water)
- 3 1/2 cups (1 pound) raw almonds
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 scant teaspoon kosher/sea salt (or 3/4 teaspoon table salt)
- Preheat oven to 250°, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat egg white with vanilla (or water) until very frothy, but not stiff.
- In small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add sugar mixture to almonds and mix well.
- Dump almonds onto the baking sheet, and spread out to a single layer using the back of a spoon.
- Bake on center rack of oven, stirring every 15 minutes or so, for one hour.
- After one hour, turn oven heat up to 300° and bake for another 25 minutes to half hour (no more stirring necessary). *
- Let cool completely on baking sheet. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Note: *If your oven runs hot, you may need to be careful about this extra half hour at higher temperature. Keep a close eye on your almonds!