Cinnamon and Cocoa Almonds

My great-aunt celebrated her 90th birthday in September in conjunction with our family reunion.  (You can read more about it here.)  Her children hosted a tea with traditional cucumber sandwiches, mini-puff pastry chicken salad, cheesecake, macaroons, and some delicious almonds to honor her.

On the reception table, there were two kinds of almonds, cocoa and cinnamon, separated into small cups for guests.  My cousin’s wife and I could not eat enough of these and we, being the adventurous sort, started mixing the cocoa ones and the cinnamon ones together.  OMG!

We begged our kinswoman for the recipe and she came through.    She even gave us the leftovers from the tea event to take home!

What you’ll need…

Cinnamon and Cocoa Almonds

By Rocco DiSpirito and ever so slightly adapted by me.

Ingredients

  • 3 T. raw coconut nectar
  • 8 packets monk fruit extract, divided
  • Himalayan pink sea salt
  • 2 c. raw whole almonds
  • 3  T. unsweetened organic cocoa powder
  • 3 T. ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine the coconut nectar, four packages of the monk fruit extract, and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place the almonds on a parchment or silicon pad lined baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown (5-10 minutes).
  4. Transfer the almonds to the bowl with the coconut nectar mixture. Toss to coat. Spread coated almonds on the baking sheet and return to oven. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the coconut nectar is sticking all of the almonds, 5-8 minutes.
  5. Prepare two mixing bowls. Place 2 packages of monk fruit powder and the cocoa in one bowl. Place the remaining 2 packages of monk fruit powder and the cinnamon in another. Mix each well.
  6. Remove almonds from the oven and divide between the two bowls. Toss to coat well. Shake off any excess powder. Place almonds on clean parchment paper to cool.
  7. When cool, mix the two flavored almonds together. Store in an air-tight container.

Cocoa and cinnamon

As we raved about the cinnamon ones, my cousin told me she had “accidentally” made that version, grabbing cinnamon instead of cocoa.   What a happy accident!   I have tweaked the recipe here just a bit to include that mistake.  🙂   (And, to mix the two flavors.)

Options:

  • Use apple pie spice or pumpkin spice for another level of holiday flavors.
  • Substitute agave syrup for the coconut nectar if you wish.

Apple Pie Spiced Almonds

The apple pie spice version was an afterthought because I had bought a pound of almonds (and I had leftover apple pie spice from the apple pie oatmeal).

These are my new favorite.  Seriously…can’t get enough.

All versions are pretty simple to make and I plan on preparing little containers for gifts and larger ones to take to work functions over the holidays.

And, can you believe it?  These are a healthy treat!

I originally was going to archive this post to publish during the holiday season because these will make great gifts, but I just couldn’t wait to share!

What spices would you incorporate for another delicious version?

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Eat, Pray, Love
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My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
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