Friday, May 14, 2010

The Smell of Christmas in Germany, Any Time You Want It

Walking through the Christmas Markets of Munich, Nuremberg and Freiburg, there is one delicious smell in common - honey roasted almonds. The aroma of hot salty sugary nuts floats out of paper cones held in happy hands, and beckons from stands with crank turned roasting contraptions.

Luckily, you can now enjoy the smell and taste of German honey-roasted almonds at all times of year, and in your own home and country! I make these pretty often, and they are always delicious. Just be careful not to let your almonds burn in the first step, it's the only risk.

Honey Roasted Almonds

2 cups whole almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp water
2 tsp vegetable oil

1. Spread the almonds in a single layer in a shallow ungreased baking pan and place in a cold oven. Turn oven to 350 F / 176 C and bake, stirring occasionally so no almonds remain at the edges for long, for 12-15 min. Do not let them blacken! Remove from the oven and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and salt. Lay out some waxed paper or parchment on the table.

3. In a saucepan, stir together the water, honey, and vegetable oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the almonds and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.

4. Pour the sticky almonds into the sugar and salt mixture and toss to coat completely and evenly. Spread out on the waxed or parchment paper and let cool.

Store in a sealed container at room temperature. The flavors will combine and the taste will improve for up to 2 weeks, at which point you should make sure they get eaten before they go stale.

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