Monday, December 05, 2011

Almonds. It's What's For Dinner!

In an effort to curry the favor of my Thanksgiving Day dinner guests (I'm such a pleaser) and to gloss over the fact that I may not be the most accomplished chef to come out of Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School of Hicktown, Utah, (understatement {kitchen fires! smoke alarms! black ash wafting out of pans!}), I roasted up a bunch of almonds and brown sugar and cinnamon and vanilla, and foisted them upon my dinner guests with a big smile and a warm howd'ya do.  

No one ate them.  

But they sure LOOKED cute!  And, I suppose I would say that they were enough of a distraction from the actual dinner that my guests could say, "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job!", which may or may not be a compliment now that I think about it . . . .

Anywho!  I have a spiffy little trick to share with you which I used to make these "GOBBLE, GOBBLE" labels without running my computer ink cartridge completely dry.  I'm so sensitive about that.  Are you?  It seems that it is almost more cost efficient to buy a brand new printer rather than refill my gas guzzling printer with liquid gold ink.  Sheesh. 

I found the labels on this awesome website, downloaded the file as a jpeg and shipped it off to my local Wal-Mart to be printed as matte photos.  Voila'!  (Or as some have written, waaalah!  I know.)  For as little as 19 cents each (technically 9 1/2 cents each since two tags made up one photo) at the one-hour photo rate (you could do it cheaper if you were more patient, unlike me), I had an adorable little tag for each bag of nuts.  All I had to do then was snip the tags in two, fold them in half, fill the bags with nuts and give them to my own family of nuts.  

Thank you.  My job here is done.  Now, time to go scour a charred pan or two.

Snip the tags in two

Cute, huh!

Fold the tag in half

More cuteness

Fill bags with nuts and staple tags over opening

Candied Cinnamon and Sugar Almonds
*Makes about 2 cups of candied almonds

1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups unsalted almonds
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large (11X17-inch) rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Add the water and vanilla and beat again until stiff. Add the almonds to the mixture and stir gently to coat the almonds with the egg white mixture. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add this mixture to the almonds and stir gently to mix well. Pour the almonds out onto the prepared baking sheet and carefully spread them out into a somewhat even layer. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about an hour, stirring/flipping every 15 minutes, until the almonds look and feel dry. To check to see if the almonds were done, I carefully picked one up in my fingers and when I pressed around it, I didn’t get any wet sugar on my hands. The coating on the almond felt hard and crunchy. Cool completely before serving or packaging.


Ashley said...

Whaaat? I would eat them. Maybe everyone thought they were too cute to open?

Lisa said...

At first glance I would never have suspected this was a photo. Think of the possibilities, Deon! Bridal showers! Pictures of the bride and groom over little bags of those delicious pastel butter mints! or bridge mix! I love this!

Melissa said...

I can't believe nobody ate them! I hope they at least APPRECIATED how cute they were. {just an FYI, if you ever need anyone to eat your food so you don't feel sad, I eat any and everything. I would have probably eaten the packaging because it was so cute!}