WARNING: DO NOT DOUBLE THIS RECIPE!!!
"Why can't I double the recipe" you ask? For the same basic reason you need a shallow pan like the one above, burned hands! As the almonds cook in your pan, the water is going to be boiling off, and all that steam and heat is going to hit your hands since you need to be stirring almost constantly. If you double the recipe, your hand will be in that heat and steam for twice as long!
Ok now that I have scared you enough, here is what you are going to need:
Vanilla in a spray bottle
NOW TO BEGIN!!!
First pour in your cinnamon and sugar in the pot. How much you use is up to you, some people like more cinnamon, some people like less but more sugar, etc. Generally I use 2 cups of sugar and 2 Tablespoons of cinnamon. Mix these up but not too quickly unless you want a face full of cinnamon powder. Take my word for it, I learned it the hard way.
Once the sugar mix gets stringy enough that you lift the spoon and you can see where it lands, it is almost time for the vanilla. This is the "complicated" part. If you have been following the measurements I have been using, the easiest thing to do is to measure 1/4 cup of vanilla into the spray bottle and then empty it. The heat is going to stay on, and you are going to spray the vanilla over the almonds while stirring them. (See why I get help?) This is the moment I think the almonds smell the best, but by now your house is definitely smelling really good!
Finishing up is pretty simple. It will become very obvious when they are about done, but the trick is to take them off the heat right before they look completely dry. They will harden up on the baking sheet, but if you leave them in the pan, you will achieve cinnamon almond brittle that is most likely stuck to the pan, and you have to chip it out. When they are done, they look almost completely dry.
Again, DO NOT LEAVE THEM IN THE PAN TO COOL!!! Pour them out on paper, on a baking sheet, or whatever, but do not leave them in the pan! Personally I like to eat them only a few minutes after they are done, and still warm, but they will last a long time (up to 2 weeks) so if you want to use them as gifts you can too!
My good friend helped me out today, and she is a great inspiration as well as a friend. Check out her blog @ http://liftingthesoul.blogspot.com/ . Of course don't forget to follow mine for more great recipes too!
CLEAN UP IS A BREEZE!! Don't you just love recipes that clean up easily? I certainly do. If you have a dishwasher, you can just stick your pan and spoon in there as long as there are no nuts left in it. The hot water dissolves the sugar, and the pan cleans off so easy. I LOVE IT!!! Ok, study up on this recipe and get used to it, because my next post will be Kahlua Almonds and the recipe is almost identical!