Yes, I went there. I made the bad, cliche’ joke. Having spent much of my 20’s and early 30’s at various Renaissance Faire’s with young (sometimes shirtless) men selling “Hot Roasted Nuts, Get Your Hot Nuts Here,” I just can’t not think this whenever I roast almonds. I can hear the hawkers, smell the unwashed masses, and taste the hard cider.
Anyway, enough of the nostalgia. The point here is that I spent part of the day roasting 4 lbs. of almonds 3 different ways:
Traditional, Cinnamon & Sugar. Chai Cocoa. Chili, Garlic, & Black Smoked Sea Salt.
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tsp. cool water
4 c. raw almonds (or whatever nut you’re using)
Directions: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lightly grease jelly roll pan (I use baking spray or olive oil). In large bowl, beat egg white and water together until frothy, but not stiff. Pour in nuts, and toss to coat completely. From here, sprinkle mix of your choice into nuts, tossing to coat. Dump onto greased jelly roll pan and spread to form single layer. Bake for 1 hour, stirring about every 15 minutes.
Cinnamon & Sugar: 1/3 c. granulated sugar, 2 tbs cinnamon.
Cocoa Chai: 1/3 c. packed brown sugar, 1/3 c. granulated sugar, 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa, 1.5 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp each: cardamom, ginger, 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg. You may also add 2 tbs. cocoa nibs if you have them.
Garlic, Chili, Black Smoked Sea Salt: I used about 1.5 tsp black sea salt, somewhat ground in the mortar & pestle, plus 1 tsp. granulated roasted garlic powder and 1 tsp. dark red chili powder.