The quest for roasted almonds began when I came across a cookie recipe I wanted to try that called for roasted almonds. I had all the ingredients called for in the recipe except the roasted almonds. I had raw almonds in the pantry. I decided to roast them, thinking, “Well this can’t be too hard.”
I pulled out my cherished red and white checkered Better Homes and Gardens Recipe Book which has been nearly loved to shreds over the years. No recipe for roasting almonds or nuts of any kind was within its covers. Then I reached for my 1977 Doubleday cookbook which has a large rubber band around it because it has been loved to pieces. No recipe.
At this point, I wondered, “Is this supposed to be some kind of genetic memory thing?” My mind began to weave a story about a young woman who appeared to all like a sage savant, but little did they know she was gifted with the genetic memories of the ages…. Would she save the world or end it?… Whoa, cool. OK, back to the almonds.
I stretched my arm into the back of my cookbook cupboard and grabbed ancient tomes like Fanny Farmer, Miss Leslie’s New Cookbook, Julia Child’s “Art of” and American Woman’s Cookbook. I scoured through each looking for instructions about roasting nuts. Sadly Julia failed me. Fanny said to fry them. The American woman was the first one to give me a clue, saying to blanch the almonds, pour oil on a baking pan and toss the almonds in the oil and bake them until they smelled and looked toasted. OK. Good. I could try that.
I decided not to blanch them and I tossed 2 cups of the raw almonds with a tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl before pouring the mixture onto the pan. I decided this first batch would be for hand eating if it worked out, so I salted them with a bit of coarse sea salt and put them in the oven at 350 degrees. I allowed them to bake until they smelled toasty, 8-12 minutes. When I pulled them out of the oven it was difficult to wait to try them but I didn’t want to burn my tongue. When I did taste them, they were wonderful – much better than what I’ve purchased in a bottle or can.
I’ve since had the good sense since to Google ‘roasted almonds’ to see if anyone else had tried it at home. Duh. Dozens. It must be a genetic memory; just not mine. I’ve discovered that you can dry roast them without oil or seasonings and they are a good treat for those watching their sodium.
If you were wondering about blanching almonds, it means to remove the skin. They are used this way in many recipes and command a premium price at the store. To do this yourself, simply pour raw almonds (shelled) into a heat-proof bowl and then cover with boiling water for 1 minute. Immediately pour almonds into a strainer and rinse well with cold water. If almonds are now cool enough to handle, the skins should easily slide off. Place almonds on a paper towel to dry. Store in an airtight container until used.
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Thank you for the information – it’s funny how the (seemingly) most basic things are sometimes the hardest to find to do! Now, if you could come up with the definitive recipe for those awesome coated and spiced nuts that are in the malls at Christmas time………??????
Hi! I’m Laura; I hope you’ll find inspiration here that will help and cheer you as I share my ‘Outside the Box’ life and recipes.
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