I was recently working on a new dessert and was trying to get the perfect almond to go with it. During my hours of trial and error I found two nuts that stood up to the test. The dripping caramelized almonds take whole almonds, dip them in homemade caramel at the hard crack stage, and allow them to drip which in turn forms "tails" on the nuts. The other almond is a spiced almond flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Both are delicious in their own way and can be used in a variety of dishes. The spiced almonds are great just as a snack by themselves.
Dripping Caramelized Almonds (technique from Bourbonnatrix Bakes)
20 whole almonds
1 c. sugar
¼ c. water
1 t. sea salt
½ t. vanilla
1. Put each whole almond on the end of a wooden or metal skewer. Pierce it just enough so that it stays on the skewer. I used metal ones, but I've seen wooden ones used.
3. Stir the sauce until it thickens. Quickly spread out newspaper underneath your kitchen counter.
5. Allow the caramel to harden then trim the "tails" to size. Serve with your favorite dessert or over top of ice cream.
½ c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. ginger
¼ t. cayenne pepper
½ t. salt
2 t. lemon zest
1 egg white
1 c. blanched whole almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl mix the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cayenne pepper, and salt in a bowl.
4. Mix in the lemon zest. Add the almonds and toss to coat.