Saturday, September 24, 2011

Spiced cinnamon roasted almonds

One of my very favorite treats, one which I look forward to all year long, is the cone of cinnamon roasted almonds at the State Fair.

Two winters ago, I got a craving for those almonds, and the State Fair was still six months away. I started browsing for recipes, and I tried a bunch. Some didn't ever get crunchy, some were too cinnamony, some were not quite sweet enough for me. Finally, I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen. I wasn't sure about the cayenne, since I'm a pretty big weakling when it comes to spice, but I tried it (with just a tiny bit of cayenne)...and we fell in love. I must've made these almonds a half-dozen times last year: we brought them to friends' Christmas and New Years' parties, we brought jars into work to share, and of course we ate a bunch ourselves.

This summer, when we went to the State Fair, I ordered my usual paper cone of cinnamon almonds...and we were all disappointed; we've gotten so accustomed to the more interesting flavors of our normal recipe.

Recently, some of hubby's coworkers asked for the recipe, so K and S, this is for you! :)

Spiced cinnamon roasted almonds
adapted from Deb at Smitten Kitchen, who adapted them from Elizabeth Karmel

1/3 c (85 g) dark brown sugar
2/3 c (160 g) white granulated sugar
1 heaping tsp (5 g) kosher salt
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (use the larger amount if you like a little kick; the 1/8 tsp is barely detectable)
1 tsp (3 g) ground cinnamon
1 egg white
1 tbsp water
approx. 1 1/2 pounds whole almonds  (I keep adding almonds until all of the egg white and sugar mixture are gone, usually about 1 1/2 pounds (711 g). I used 586 g, or about 20.7 oz, of whole almonds this time because it's all I had; I had a little of both the egg white and the sugar mixture left over.)

1. Preheat the oven to 300ยบ. Line a jelly roll pan with foil.
2. Mix the sugars, salt, and spices until no lumps remain.
3. Whisk the egg white and water until slightly frothy.
4. Add almonds to the egg white and stir to coat the almonds. (I usually add them in three or four batches until all of the egg white is used up.)
5. Use a fork or a slotted spoon to pull the almonds out of the egg white and drop them into the sugar mixture. Toss the almonds until they're evenly coated. (Again, I usually do this in several batches until all of the sugar mixture is used up.)
6. Spread the almonds in a single layer on the pan.
7. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring once about half way through. (If you steal a bite when they're done, be aware that first, they're very hot and you'll burn your mouth! and second, they'll still seem a little soft. Don't worry; they'll get crunchier as they cool. If you bake them until they're crunchy immediately, they'll end up tasting slightly burnt.)
8. Cool and then pour them into jars.

Makes 3 - 5 pint jars. (With 580 g of almonds, we got 3 1/2 pints plus an embarrassing number that were eaten off the pan while they were cooling. With a full 1 1/2 pounds, I usually get about 5 jars.)

The three players: egg white, sugar mixture, whole almonds
Almonds, ready to go into the oven
Almonds, just out of the oven
Ready to share!


  1. Yum. Plus, I bet your house smells fantastic while the almonds are baking.

  2. Ooooh, these look tasty! I love nuts, spice and sugar. I've tried a few recipes, but I gave up when I didn't like the couple I tried. So glad you stuck to it and found the right combination. Will definitely try!!!

  3. We do a savoury version of these, and absolutely love them! There's nothing nicer than being able to replicate a food memory! :)

  4. I made these and they were great...Mark really liked them so I will make them again at some point. Yours look so nice and the jars are so know me, I shoved them in an old tin, handed them to him and that was pretty much it. I have got to get some cuteness into my life soon.