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Bring the County Fair to Your Backyard: Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds

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For us the county fair doesn’t exist. It’s the state fair that draws us in. After all, we practically live on the fairgrounds. More than that, though, as a family of food lovers, our state fair offers a wide variety of foods to taste and try and tempt, and among the fried cheese curds, the buckets of fries and the myriad of food on a stick are the cinnamon-roasted almonds.

While cinnamon-roasted almonds and roasted nuts of all sorts are not limited only to county or state fairs, this is definitely where I had my first experiences with them. Under the Ferris wheel, past the cotton candy stand and inevitably next to the nut rolls lie the roasted nuts. Nowadays, however, I can even find them at the mall, not to mention at the street vendor downtown or at the farmers market each weekend.

More than just a summertime treat, these nuts are bursting with flavor, and they’re perfect for gift giving. Make some for a loved one’s birthday, or make double batches to hand out for Christmas.

Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds

1 egg white
1 tablespoon cold water
3 cups almonds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white or turbinado sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 250° F. Beat the egg white and water until frothy and foamy, prior to reaching the “soft peak” stage. Add in nuts and stir to coat. In a separate bowl mix together sugars, cinnamon and sea salt. Stir into the egg and nut mixture until well coated.

Grease a large jelly roll pan or baking sheet with the melted butter. Spread nuts in a single layer and bake at 250° F for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, stir to loosen from sheet. Eat warm or allow to cool completely before packaging.

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