Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Orange-Cinnamon Candied Almonds - The Foodie Days of Christmas

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. Our neighborhood gets all decked out with garlands and lights strung across Hanover Street. Businesses hang pine-scented wreaths with festive gold and red trimmings. We always take a walk around Boston to enjoy the decorations while getting pink-cheeked with the cold. It's possible I married my husband for his incredible ability to have warm hands - even in December. I love simple pleasures amidst the craziness of the the season like a movie matinee and a bowl of clam chowder at the Union Oyster House with Thom or finding the perfect new Santa ornament for my Aunt's collection of all things Saint Nick.

Photo Williams Sonoma
I get so excited to pick out gifts for friends and family. I'd love to be a personal shopper, actually. Over the last few lean years I've had to cut back on gift giving; More and more of my gifts are homemade... a scarf crocheted for Dad, sweet and spicy pecans for friends, or a handmade ornament for Mom. But I still have so much fun trying to find the perfect, special gift for loved ones. I love wrapping presents; picking out paper, ribbons and tags that will make the package as thoughtfully presented as the gift was planned.

To help you with your holiday preparations here are a few of my favorite things... recipes and kitchen tools! A combination of homemade treats and my favorite products for the food lovers in your life to inspire you to bring a little foodie holiday cheer to your friends and family. The first up is this easy recipe for lightly sweet cinnamon spiced almonds.

Orange-Cinnamon Candied Almonds
3 lbs raw almonds
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 cup finely ground candied orange peel
1.5 Tbs cinnamon
1 Tbs vanilla

Preheat oven to 250ยบ F.

Spread almonds on two cookie sheets and toast for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together all other ingredients. Toss almonds in egg white spice mixture and spread out in a single layer on cookie sheets covered with a silpat (one of my kitchen must-haves!) or parchment paper. Bake 30 minutes, stirring once, or until mixture on almonds is dried out. One thing I like to do is make these at the end of the day and just turn off the oven and leave the almonds in overnight.

Almonds will stick together a bit. Simply break apart and store in an airtight container. Package in treat bags tied with pretty ribbon for friends or holiday tins. Pair up this crunchy sweet treat with a bottle of dessert wine such as Quady Essensia Orange Muscat to bring to a cocktail party.

Check out all the Foodie Days of Christmas recipes and follow on Twitter with #foodieChristmas:
Orange-Cinnamon Candied Almonds
Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels
Fruit & Nut Bark
M&M Peppermint Bark - a Family Sunday Recipe
Apple Cranberry Walnut Bread
Sugar Cookies from Cooking Light
Gingerbread Snowflakes
Gingerbread Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. Oooo, love the addition of orange!! You're a smart cookie!

  2. Wow, candied almonds WITH orange. This sounds perfect with a glass of grande marnier.

  3. These almonds look fabulous! What a great treat!

  4. These sound fantastic and look delicious! I love recipes with orange in them, it reminds me so much of the holidays! This is the perfect thing to serve at a party or get-together. A really nice treat :)

  5. Yum! I like to make a batch (or fifty) of some sort of nuts for Christmas. Methinks this will be one of them this year :-)

  6. I love candied almonds, and cinnamon makes everything even better :) Wonderful holiday recipe!

  7. I've been looking for something that I could make for this year's X-mas pressies :) These are perfect! Buzzed!

  8. Love this! This would be a perfect snack to set out at a holiday party. I'm pinning this one!

  9. Looks fantastic! I love "plain" roasted almonds but they're extra special when sugared.

  10. Mmm what a way to enhance a great nut! I'll bet these just get gobbled up all too soon!

  11. When you become a personal shopper...will you shop for me? I'd much rather be in the kitchen than the store!


I love reading your comments! If you have a question that requires a personal response please email me using the information located on the Contact page. Thank you for reading and happy cooking!