Last year’s Sugar Rush was such a hit that I’ve spent approximately the last 364 days thinking about what to include in Sugar Rush II. Over the next two weeks you can expect to see more calories than you’ve ever seen in your lifetime. But with that will come both classic and unique treats for the holiday season.
Some will be simple and easy, some will have a few more steps – but don’t worry! For the more involved recipes (and those using the almighty candy thermometer), I’ll include step-by-step photos and tips galore.
Many of the desserts will be perfect for a holiday plate for the neighbors and there will be other recipes screaming to serve them at your holiday table for a classy, over-the-top delicious dessert.
To usher in this year’s Sugar Rush, please welcome these absolutely terrific and easy cinnamon sugared almonds. You know, like the kind you pay an armload for at the mall.
The almonds are coated in a silky cinnamon and sugar coating that turns crunchy and candy-like in the oven.
These babies are positively addicting and packaged in a cute tin or box and wrapped in a ribbon they make a delightful, edible holiday gift.
The real bonus? They are easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy (as my 6-year old likes to say) to make and I even included step-by-step photos. So what are you waiting for, make some!
Candied Cinnamon & Sugar Almonds
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon cold water
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups unsalted almonds
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large (11X17-inch) rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Add the water and vanilla and beat again until stiff. Add the almonds to the mixture and stir gently to coat the almonds with the egg white mixture. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add this mixture to the almonds and stir gently to mix well. Pour the almonds out onto the prepared baking sheet and carefully spread them out into a somewhat even layer. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about an hour, stirring/flipping every 15 minutes, until the almonds look and feel dry. To check to see if the almonds were done, I carefully picked one up in my fingers and when I pressed around it, I didn’t get any wet sugar on my hands. The coating on the almond felt hard and crunchy. Cool completely before serving or packaging.
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Recipe Source: from my sister, Cerissa!
Here’s the egg white after being beaten for about 30 seconds. It is starting to get foamy but has a while before stiff peaks form.
After a minute or so the egg white is even more foamy! Exciting stuff, eh?
Here we go, baby. This is how you want the stiff peaks to look…stiff! It usually takes me and my mixer about 4-5 minutes to get to this point. It will vary based on the temperature of your egg white, mixer speed, etc.
Add the vanilla and water and mix again until the egg white is stiff.
Add in the almonds and gently mix.
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. And mix it up.
Add the brown sugar mixture to the egg white/almond mixture.
Gently stir it all up.
Turn out the almonds onto the prepared baking sheet.
When they are in the best even layer you can manage, pop them in the oven.
Flip and stir every 15 minutes or so. This will be messy and you’ll be questioning my sanity as it seems like all the coating is running off. Don’t worry, it works, I promise. This is me stirring the almonds after about 15 minutes. Not even close to being done as you can see.
This is after about 45 minutes. Close, but not quite done yet. You’ll have less mess on your baking sheet because I forgot to grease mine. Oops.
To test for doneness, I grab one of the toasty almonds in my fingers and gently press to see if the coating is hard and crunchy. If some of it stickily sticks to your fingers, they need more time in the oven. These look just about perfect.
Let the almonds cool completely before serving or packaging.