Monday, December 20, 2010

Last Minute Neighbor Gift Idea: Homemade Candied Almonds

Even though I rack my brain and try to make a list of every neighbor/friend I want to give a small holiday goodie to, I still am bound to forget someone. Then my doorbell rings and it is my cute neighbor with a treat for me and I am scrambling to find something to give in return. It always happens this last week before Christmas too, so whip up a batch of these homemade candied almonds to have on hand for a quick exchange! I actually made these this year for some of my neighbors who have to have "gluten free" due to allergies. One of the BEST parts about making these is the smell, it will make your entire house smell like Christmas with the yummy cinnamon smell. These are way cheaper than the ones you buy in the mall, I get the 3 pound bag of almonds at Costco, I think it is around $10. This recipe requires a lot of stirring, I recruited my strong husband to help.

I got this recipe from allrecipes.com, I have included a TON of pictures, I wish I would have these, I had to learn how to do this recipe the hard way, by ruining a batch, boo. If you just keep stirring this recipe is SIMPLE.

Candied Almonds

1/2 Cup water
1 Cup white sugar
1 TSBP ground cinnamon
2 Cups whole raw almonds

Combine the water, sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil; add almonds. Cook and stir the mixture until the liquid evaporates and leaves a syrup like coating on the almonds. Pour the almonds onto a baking sheet, lined with wax paper. Separate the almonds using a fork. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

****The "syrup like coating" is misleading, keep stirring, you want them to be dry and have a crystallized coating. Below is the recipe in photos.

Mix your ingredients and bring to a boil....
Add the almonds and keep stirring...
It will start to thicken a little, keep stirring....
More stirring....
This is what I thought is a syrup like coating would be, DO NOT STOP HERE, KEEP STIRRING...
The sugar will start to stick to the bottom of the pan, that is OK, you're not done yet, even when it looks like this, KEEP STIRRING....

When your almonds look like this, you are done!
Pour them onto your baking sheet and let them cool....

I had some decorating bags that I decided to put them in....


I think they worked well, I made sure to tie a bow over the logo, so you don't see it. I found some cute cone ornaments I had bought at IKEA last year to put them in.

I think they turned out cute, and they were yummy!!
Merry Christmas, 5 days left!!

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