How To: DIY Sugared Almonds
Of course, what she really meant was the toasted, sugar coated walnuts, almonds, or pecans that seem to crown so many restaurant salads. While I am a fan of sugar (and nuts, for that matter) I never really liked them on my salad. They were a hunk of sweetness when what I wanted to eat was supposed to be light, fresh, and wholesome. Salad=guilt-free health food. Yes? Yes.
Enter the Savannah Chopped Salad at McAlister’s Deli. I luuuuuuuurve it. I have yet to tire of eating it and just writing about it now is making my mouth water. I have been completely converted to a ‘nuts on my salad’ person. My favorite part? When I am almost done with it and the last bites are of cranberries, cheese, and the honey roasted almonds. It is tangy and tart, creamy and sweet, and crunchy and chewy. The best combo of textures and flavors from three little ingredients. When I was at a food conference in Virginia a few weeks ago (Read: Mixed Conference. Best time ever!), I had a salad with those exact same elements to it and thought to myself, “Self? Why have you not made this before?” So I did! I started making it myself. The salad I will post later, but the sugared almonds above are my nut of choice when it comes to topping my greens. Sliced, to be exact, as they look pretty and add texture and crunch without sticking a whole nut in your mouth.
So how do you make these delectable slivers of deliciousness? Ha! Say that three times fast… It is ridiculously easy. And fast. And did I mention easy? Wait, what? I meant the recipe was easy, not repeating that three times fast. Was that clear? I’m so tired…
The possibilities with these babies are endless. Top a salad (duh) or ice cream (be still my heart) or a no-bake pie (MOMMY!) for a little crunch. Or you could just eat them. Add them to yogurt, pudding parfaits, trail mix, or garnish a smoothie! Or just eat them. Sprinkle these beauties over a bowl of fresh fruit to give it a bit of texture or crumble them over a dessert pizza just before serving. Oh! And you know what?! You could just eat them…
1 c sliced almonds
1/3 c granulated sugar
pinch of salt
Place all ingredients in a small sauté pan and place over medium-medium high heat.
Let warm and melt while stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. The sugar will start to melt and stick to the nuts. If some of it never melts, that is ok.
Keep going for another 5 minutes or so, or until the nuts are coated and toasted. Spread out in a single layer on a wax paper or parchment lined baking sheet to cool.
Once cool, crumble into smaller pieces of needed. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Be ready to make more than one batch due to snacking. 🙂