I like to make something for our teachers at the end of the year. In addition to their class gift, it seems like a nice gesture to give a homemade gift to show how grateful I am for the love and attention they shower on my child on a daily basis. It also gives me a chance to teach generosity and kindness to Kat. She is, after all, the recipient of the love and attention. Why not give something back?
A couple of weeks ago, I was down at the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market and bought some cinnamon roasted almonds from Moms Gone Nuts, a local company specializing in cinnamon roasted nuts. They were so good, I was inspired to make some as my teacher gifts. Roasted nuts are practically synonymous with Christmas and they’re really not at all hard to make. The house filled with all this amazing cinnamon/vanilla aroma which, when combined with Christmas music, even made the desert feel a little festive.
Aside from teacher gifts (we boxed ours in some cute, holiday Chinese food carriers), these are great to set out as a snack at your holiday party, or tailgate party before the upcoming Bowl games. I hear Santa’s reindeer like them, too. Enjoy!
Cinnamon Toasted Almonds
- 2 egg whites
- 6 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups raw, unblanched almonds
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a large bowl, beat egg whites until frothy; beat in vanilla. Add almonds; stir gently to coat. Combine the sugars, salt and cinnamon; add to nut mixture and stir gently to coat.
- Spread evenly into two greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans. Bake at 300° for 25-30 minutes or until almonds are crisp, stirring once. Cool. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 4 cups.
***Cook’s Notes: I found the almonds needed some added time to get the desired crunchiness. Mine probably went for closer to 40 -45 minutes.