I have a secret ingredient that makes any sweet green salad extra yummy. It's sugared almonds. Have you ever tried them? I made a batch today for this post, and I could seriously eat them all. Forget the salad, just pass the sugar coated almonds!
These almonds are perfect for salads with sweet ingredients (like fruit) and or sweet dressings. I love them in salads with mandarin oranges or strawberries (like the strawberry spinach salad I'll be sharing on Monday).
I'm not a particularly fancy person, and I'm all about saving a buck. When I created Monday's salad, I purchased expensive sliced almonds because I thought they would make the salad look prettier. Well, guess what? Sliced almonds burn easier, and once they are sugared, they all stick together in clumps! Forget about fancy. This is one time when it's better to start with whole almonds. (But--if you really like fancy, go ahead.) If you are making the almonds for a snack instead of for a salad, you can leave the nuts whole.
- ¼ C almonds, coarsely chopped (I use my Pampered Chef food chopper.)
- 2 T sugar
In a small sauce or frying pan, stir sugar and almonds together over medium heat. Continue stirring until sugar melts and the almonds are coated. Remove from heat, and pour them onto a plate or bowl to cool.
The funny thing about making sugared almonds is that once the sugar starts to melt, it will do so very quickly. That means you have to pay attention! I can't tell you how many times I've stirred the almonds around--wondering when the sugar was every going to melt--them gotten distracted and almost burned the whole thing. One second you'll still see white sugar, and then the next, it becomes clear and you have to hurry to make sure the sugar gets through all the nuts before they start to burn.
Think of those first few minutes of stirring as time to toast the nuts before the sugar melts. And--if you really want a challenge--try holding a camera with one hand, stirring with the other, and watching the whole process through the camera lens! (I wouldn't recommend it!) I was pretty proud that I got decent pictures, and didn't let the almonds burn.
Could you do this with other nuts? Absolutely! Could you add a little cinnamon or cocoa powder? I don't see why not! Maybe I'll try that next.
I'm so glad you stopped by today. While you're here, check out some of my other posts. (Images below are linked.)