Something quick and easy for a snack? How about roasted almonds? But not just any roasted almonds — how about some with a crispy, sweet coating? Now you’re interested, right? Good, let’s get scratchin’.
This recipe comes from Handmade Scandinavian Christmas, by Hege Barnholt, and, while it isn’t the Christmas season, it’s almost Easter, and besides, there’s nothing wrong with a small snack from time to time. The original recipe called for all sugar, but we find that using about half sugar and half corn syrup makes it less likely that the sugar to crystallize, resulting in a more successful outcome.
Use a corn syrup that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient, which pretty much means avoiding the store brands. We hear a variety of concerns about HFCS, so why take the risk to save a few pennies?
Procedure in detail:
Mise en place. You’re going to be working with some hot syrup here, so get everything ready. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
Mix ingredients. In a large skillet, stir together the almonds, sugar, corn syrup, and water. The sugar doesn’t have to dissolve completely; you just want to make sure that none of the sugar or syrup is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Cook. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Continue cooking, without stirring, — yes, we know you want to stir, but don’t — until the syrup starts to brown, thicken, and get a little foamy, about 5 minutes.
Stir. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir to coat all the almonds.
Cook. Return the pan to the heat and continue to cook until the syrup becomes brown and thick, about 5 more minutes.
Pour out. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the almonds onto your prepared baking sheet. Working quickly, separate the almonds.
Cool. Let cool completely before tasting or placing in an airtight container.
These surely are quick and easy. It was no more than 20 minutes from start to end, so, if you’re looking for a quick snack, this may be it. We liked the almonds, but think that they would be improved in two ways. First, a little bit of salt. Not enough to make these salty, but about 1/2 tsp, and, second, more almonds. We ended up with what we think is too much coating, and we could have coated twice the amount of almonds without difficultly. But even so, these deserve 4 stars.