|A family favorite holiday treat|
8oz raw almonds
2tsp ground cinnamon
2lb best-quality semisweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
2tbs coconut oil (optional)
1.5c Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (or 2 sheets), and toast until fragrant, about 10 minutes, stirring half way through.
2. Then line 3 baking sheets with parchment or nonstick foil.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, toasted almonds, and cinnamon. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until sugar becomes golden, then starts to crystallize around the almonds (8 minutes). Pour the almond mixture onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure all the almonds are separated. Transfer to the freezer or refrigerator, and chill for 15 minutes.
4. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted (Add 2tbs coconut oil for a subtle coconut flavor). Add the chilled almond mixture, stirring until nuts are thoroughly coated. With a large spoon, scoop out the almonds into clusters and place them on the lined baking sheets. Alternatively you can place them on the sheets and break up each cluster with a fork for individual coated almonds (but this takes a lot more time).
5. Place the clusters, or individually coated almonds, into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until hardened.
6. Place cocoa powder in a large bowl, and add the almond clusters or individual almonds in batches. Toss to coat, shaking off excess cocoa powder. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
*Original recipe adapted from a Martha Stewart magazine