These last couple of months have been such a blur of activity and it is hard to believe Christmas in only 4 days away. Joel has been working day and night and all my time has been devoted to keeping home life running smoothly. Plus I have been busy in the kitchen baking Christmas gifts, cooking food for a number of end of year break-ups and parties plus a Tea For Six stall at our local Christmas carols.
We did steal a mini holiday and escape to Noosa on the weekend which was quick but absolute bliss. The kids had an early morning swim, mum and I sipped lattes and Joel grabbed any spare moment there was to teach the older kids how to play Christmas carols on the ukulele which they have mastered very quickly!
Christmas is by far my favourite time of year and is my favourite food to make. As we are going away for Christmas and I’m not in the kitchen cooking up the big Christmas day feast on the actual day I do feel somewhat displaced this year. However I will still cook my favourite turkey with prune and chestnut stuffing for a Christmas eve feast before we board the plane go to Cairns. And my mum is making her delicious Christmas pudding for Christmas eve dessert which I am looking forward to. Plus I have been churning out batches of Caramelised Onions, Pecan & Coconut Biscotti, Rocky Road, Cranberry, Almond & White Chocolate Shortbread, Butter Cut-Out Cookies, Christmas cakes and these divine Raspberry Marshmallows which all feels very festive.The kids have been getting involved too which keeps them happily occupied.
For the Tea For Six stall I made jars of French Chocolate Granola, Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookie Mix, Russian Caramels, Gingerbread and Mrs Smith’s Lemon Balls. A weeks worth of work disappeared in a couple of hours. But the quickest thing to disappear was the Cinnamon Roasted Almonds. I had a bowl out so people could sample them and they were hard to resist.
I just love this recipe. It is so easy to make in bulk and fairly inexpensive depending on where you get your almonds from. I do like to buy nuts from over at Mick’s Nuts at West End but as I was churning out bags of Cinnamon Roasted Nuts for teachers, friends, Joel’s work colleagues and the markets I just bought in bulk from our local fruit and veg shop.
These are perfect to gift. Pop them in a jar or tie them up in a cellophane bag. But make sure to keep some to put on the Christmas table to snack on or to serve with some bubbles for Christmas drinks. Having these baking in the oven fills the house with cinnamon aromas which feels very festive. No one will be able to resist.
cinnamon roasted almonds
1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 120 degrees C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
In a bowl mix together the sugars and cinnamon.
In a large bowl whisk the egg white until frothy then add the vanilla and whisk for another 20 seconds. Add the almonds and mix with a wooden spoon until the nuts are well coated and glossy from egg whites. Tip in the sugars and cinnamon and mix carefully but thoroughly to coat the nuts in the sugars.
Spread the almonds evenly over the two trays and bake for 1 hour. Every 10 – 15 minutes take a tray out and gently move the almonds around with a wooden spoon to encourage the almonds to roast evenly. When the almonds no longer appear glossy then they are ready to come out of the oven. Leave them to cool on the tray then carefully break them up with a wooden spoon.
Store in an airtight container.