A small gift for you – ALMONDS

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As long as I can remember come New Year’s Day I have made “Gebrannte Mandeln” (sugar-burnt-almonds) to give away to friends as a little ‘thank you’ for this and that.

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Wrapped in little cornucopias simply made out of newspaper they always bring a smile to everybody’s face; with most of us being reminded of those fun-filled childhood visits to our local Christmas Markets. Although I never had an overly sweet tooth this did not stop me from nagging my own mother to buy me a portion of those deliciously smelling ‘gebrannte mandeln’ each time we visited one of those markets – until she decided it would be cheaper making them at home.
To me and many people around the globe the almond is a symbol of good fortune and happiness.

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….already at sea en route to Germany, the biggest import market.”

And this is one of the main reasons why today I like to present each one of you with my little gift combined with my very best wishes for

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There are so many uses for this nut in the kitchen alone, too many to start listing them all here.

And although I use Almonds a lot in my kitchen, one of my own personal ‘comfort dishes’ (especially when the wretched cold/flu has hit me) is a nice bowl of rice pudding, laced with a pinch of cinnamon and a dollop or two (wicked!) of jam and some Almonds. By the way, this is also a Swedish Christmas Tradition.

Here in India we say that eating 10 Almonds a day is good for the brain (….oh yes?!) – and so I keep stocking up once a month!

And who does not know the 5 important health benefits of Almonds: they are of course as follows:
1) Almonds are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats.
2) They are a good way to get your magnesium, copper, manganese and vitamin B
3) They are particularly high in antioxidant vitamin E
4) Eating Almonds instead of high carbohydrate foods has been shown to aid weight loss.
5) Vitamin E in Almonds protects your skin’s collagen to keep you looking younger for longer.

Now for you, who like to make those Almonds at home, here is this very simple recipe I have been using for so many years.
300 g Almonds (with skin on)
180 g white sugar (you can use more if you like, but ….)
2 Tbsp Cinnamon powder
The inside (pulp) of one Vanilla
40 ml water

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Take a large frying pan and on medium flame heat water, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla pulp stirring continuously until sugar has molten.
Add Almonds and continue stirring until all the Almonds are well covered. Now for the next 10-15 minutes keep stirring until all the water has evaporated and the Almonds have turned nicely brown.

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In the meantime line a tray with parchment paper and transfer all the Almonds onto this, spreading them out and simply let them dry for a little while. For this I put the whole lot into the oven (WITHOUT HEAT) for maybe 30 minutes or so.

That’s it – done – ready to be bottled or boxed and enjoyed.

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Come now and join me – jumping straight into a New Year, with a spring in one’s step, a song in one’s heart, a smile on one’s face and hope for a better tomorrow.

Namaskaram
Carina

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42 thoughts on “A small gift for you – ALMONDS

  1. I love almonds and am completely addicted to roasted and salted. They are a very popular ground thickening ingredient in Spain, used in lots of sauces, stews, etc.

  2. I love almonds, too, and almond flavoring in baked goods — like a tart cherries pie — is my favorite. If I make this, I had better have the packaging ready or I’ll snack on enough of them to require making a 2nd batch.

    • Roni, thanks for commentin. I have made my own marzipan since I was a late teenager (a box of the famous Luebecker Marzipan never ever lasted long around me) I just read your own post about marzipan and I most certainly will ;make time and give this one a try. Time consuming, yes, but worthwhile!!! I was also fascinated by the article connected to marzipan. I will have to read this again and absorb all this information – thank you so much for this

      • It’s my pleasure to share this recipe with another Marzipan aficionado! It is indeed time consuming, but really worth the effort.
        I’m also glad you’ve found the link interesting. The book is one of my favorites. 🙂

    • Even if one does not care too much, like me, for sweet things, I agree it is sometime hard to keep ones hand out of the almond jar!!:) 🙂 thanks for showing me the links to your florentines. I always wanted to make them, but was a bit scared even trying. But now, thanks to you, I certainly will have a go – especially the “baskets”. And if you ask which version I will choose – simple! All 3 🙂 🙂

      • I like all 3 versions too. The first version I made (with the cranberries) came out of my Better Homes and Gardens Cookie cookbook and were very tasty. You can see how I played around with the temperature to get the cookies thinner the way I had pictured them. And gluing 2 cookies back to back with chocolate was so much fun. That’s the way I’ve bought them at the bakery.

        However, the 2nd version was SO easy that that’s the only one I make now. I’m lucky to have a set of cannoli tubes to I can make the ‘cigars’ … so much fun. It only takes a bit of practice to learn exactly how long to let them cool on the tray before you can pick them up and wrap them. I know you’ll like the results.

  3. Thank you for a huge smile! I use almonds for all the things you mention, and would even without the pronounced health benefits, but I am most used to having them with champagne at New Year or on birthdays. Love them ‘gebrannt’ – having a Swedish grandmother perhaps makes this more so: so thank you very much for your gift 🙂 ! Oh adore your little folded boats: I could spend hours as a child making more and more complex ‘European origami’ such as this and I can still do it without tuition!!!

  4. Hahaha – Champagne and Almonds – of course!!! this combination I know better from weddings, white chocolate coated almonds wrapped in a cute little white pouch. Did your Grandma ever gave you ricepudding with an almond inside??
    And btw – those cute little boats and cornucopias were made for me by JS himself especially for the photo shoot :). Confession – I have forgotten how to make all those things we did as children.

    • Sorry, I could not resist on a fine Sunday morning! – No, don’t think rice pudding has ever been on any of my menus, but I did have a wonderful Grossmutter running a big farm in the country. Whenever I was sick with measles and mumps and the like, she promptly had a pig killed [she bred special Danish ones] and next thing the farm truck did a 4-hour to-and-fro to bring me fresh ‘Blutwurst’ and the mixture for ‘Blutpfannkuchen’ and next day I would have a very rounded tummy from overeating but the ‘medicine’ would have made me ‘all better’ !! [thought German names would be better 🙂 !]

  5. how lovely to see you here again!:) lol – those almonds should come with a sort of ‘health warning’ – they are soooo addictive, even to me, who does not really have a sweet tooth. May 2017 be a good happy and healthy year for you.

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