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Lots of almonds - what to do?

c
caliston Jan 3, 2005 07:10 PM

I get 25lbs of raw, unpeeled almonds from a relative every year for Christmas. The new shipment arrived and I have half of last year's bag still!

Any favorite recipies that use a ton of almonds? I have an irrational hatred of blanching almonds, so anything skin on would be great!

Thanks!

  1. c
    Christine Jan 3, 2005 07:21 PM

    Wow, if you still have half of last year's on hand, that's probably already enough for the year.

    How about making a huge batch of spiced or candied almonds and taking them to a soup kitchen or Meals-on-Wheels or somewhere that serves food to the needy? Anything that won't have to be repackaged and is easy to distribute would be heartily welcomed. And you can make these in batches of a couple pounds at a time.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Christine
      c
      Cyndy Jan 3, 2005 08:57 PM

      Check the donation restrictions first...I was heartbroken to have my home baked treats rejected because they weren't produced in a commercial kitchen. Just so you dont' go to a lot of work only to find your good deed unwelcome.

      1. re: Cyndy
        r
        Rita Jan 3, 2005 09:11 PM

        Also, unfortunately many homeless people are missing teeth and are unable to eat chewy or hard items.

        1. re: Rita
          c
          caliston Jan 4, 2005 03:15 PM

          I've tried this in the past and the soup kitchen couldn't take them. Has to be packaged.

          I'll try Meals on Wheels. Thanks!

    2. t
      Tatania Jan 3, 2005 07:40 PM

      I like the soup kitchen idea.
      You also could cuisinart it into almond butter and use it instead of peanut butter; make almond brittle; eat roasted almonds as a delish and satisfying snack that, in moderation, has every health'n'diet guru's stamp of approval.

      1. m
        moi Jan 3, 2005 07:45 PM

        Make French almond nougat. The recipe linked below requires 2 cups of almonds and produces a really good candy. If you have some candy-making experience and a trusty thermometer, this isn't that hard to make. Contrary to what the recipe says, you MUST use edible wafer paper, oiling the pan just doesn't work (really hard to pry it out). Also, a larger pan produced thinner pieces that were easier to cut, and made better bite-sized pieces. The candy improved in texture over several days, so you have plenty of time to indulge or share.

        The article is informative, but fails to mention that the REAL nougat de montelimar uses lavender honey.

        Link: http://www.latimes.com/la-000086525oc...

        2 Replies
        1. re: moi
          l
          La Dolce Vita Jan 3, 2005 09:15 PM

          Thank you for the link to the article on how to make nougat. The Italians have a version called torrone, almost identical as far as I can tell to the French version. When I was a little girl, my father would take me to the Italian grocery store and buy some torrone for me. It came individually wrapped in small,decorative boxes, and was sometimes flavored with orange or lemon essence. For me, there was an element of the forbidden about it because of the communion wafer on the outside. The nuns at my church (who were not Italian and probably didn't know about torrone) had warned us that communion wafer is not food, and should never be chewed. So, chomping communion wafer--on candy, no less!--seemed to my young mind to be really pushing the limits. Now, as an adult, I simply adore the taste of a good nutty nougat and I don't worry about the religious implications! :)

          1. re: La Dolce Vita
            m
            moi Jan 4, 2005 06:38 PM

            Print or save the recipe before the LA times drops the article! I had to look hard for a recipe that looked right, and this produced the real thing.

            I've tried torrone from an Italian deli, and think there is less difference between torrone and nougat than between different makers of nougat. When made well, both are wonderful candies.

            When I was little I thought eating the paper wierd - what goats do!

        2. n
          Nancy Berry Jan 4, 2005 10:41 AM

          You can make these -- they're really good! The recipe is adapted from one from The Union Square Cafe -- that one uses mixed nuts. This recipe was adapted by Sara Moulton and uses only almonds. I'm paraphrasing it here.

          Bar Nuts

          1 1/4 pounds Unsalted almonds
          3 tablespoons Coarsely-chopped fresh rosemary leaves
          3/4 teaspoon Cayenne
          3 teaspoons Dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
          3 teaspoons Coarse salt
          1 tablespoon Unsalted butter, melted

          Toast the almonds until they are golden (about 12 to 15 minutes) on a baking sheet placed on the center rack of a 350 degree oven. Watch carefully -- nuts burn easily.

          In a large bowl, toss together the rest of the ingredients. When the almonds are toasted, mix them with this rosemary-butter mixture.

          Serve warm.

          Makes 4 cups.

          paraphrased from Cooking Live website.

          1. p
            Phoebe Jan 4, 2005 12:15 PM

            Make almond flour. Grind up the almonds (be careful - this can turn into almond butter easily if you grind too much). Subsitute almond flour for regular flour. It's really delicious and adds a great texture to baked goods. Keep in freezer.

            1. m
              Monte Jan 4, 2005 03:12 PM

              French Macarons (see link) (these are dificult to make but use alot of almond and taste amazing)

              almond based pesto

              or find a bulk outlet and try and trade it.

              Link: http://www.laduree.fr/boutiquemacaron...

              1. c
                caliston Jan 4, 2005 04:41 PM

                Thanks everybody for their suggestions! I didn't know that some of this stuff was made with almonds.

                This is now a 5-year tradition. I got a bit overwhlemed when I found that I still had 10-15 lbs from last year! Usually have a hoiday cocktail party that uses up a bunch.

                I'll let you know if I do anything interesting.

                1. s
                  synergy Jan 10, 2005 09:30 AM

                  How 'bout making almond crusted fish...or chicken?

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