Back when I first went to Germany as a 17 year old I remember having gebrannte Mandeln, cinnamon almonds, for the first time. At the time they weren’t common in the United States, these days you see them in malls, tourist sites and other places. I remember my love for them, fresh and warm wrapped in the paper cone. Cinnamon and almonds, what could be better?!
These almonds are a grown up version, dark chocolate almonds laced with cayenne pepper. I have been known to buy the chocolate almonds available at stores and hoard them. I cringe when anyone else in the family wants them. I hide them so nobody will easily find them. What can I say, some things I just like to keep to myself. Nobody else appreciates them like I do. The boys just throw them in their mouths as fast as they can eat them. I, on the other hand, eat one almond at a time, savoring every single taste.
Since our schedule has been a little crazy with swim lessons I wanted to have a high protein and portable snack, more so for me after my workout than for the kids. Let’s just say I don’t get to hoard this treat as I planned! Sean was already wise to my plans since he went with me to the store to buy the almonds from the bulk section. He was already begging for some before we got to the car. I held him off while we ran one more errand and then he was eating almonds out of the bag at the back of the car!
As I was making the almonds Sean and Ewan noticed and had to watch everything. Sean was already very excited since he saw chocolate, his absolute favorite food. Ewan heard me say they would be spicy and he wanted some right away. I managed to finish them without anybody getting their fingers on them before they were done which is a near miracle in this house! Of course I did have to share them after swim lessons, though I fed my little birdies with open mouths to minimize the chocolate hands they would get. They aren’t exactly the neatest eaters around!
They turned out just as I was hoping. Rich dark chocolate with a kick coating an almond. And BONUS, this is a healthy snack, right?! Almonds are a good source of protein and dark chocolate is good for your heart among other things so this must be a health snack. Ok, portion control is critical! That would be why I put some in the cute polka dot bag, just the right portion size. I can only say this a delicous snack with a spicy kick that is good for you when you show control, please don’t eat the entire bowl!! Next time I’m thinking of putting in cinnamon instead of cayenne pepper… I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and stir in the cayenne pepper. Add the almonds and stir well to thoroughly cover the nuts in choclate. Spread out the almonds on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread them out well or they will stick together, unless of course you want almond clusters, also quite tasty. Place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to set the chocolate. Place the almonds in a bowl and add the cocoa powder. Toss well to coat evenly. If desired, put the nuts in a fine sieve to remove any excess cocoa powder. Store in an airtight container.
Yields 8 servings