Susie Csorsz Brown
My mom, the smart woman that she is, taught us about a billion things. One of them was to never return an empty container or show up to someone's house empty handed. Best thing to remedy both of those situations? These almonds. Yes, you can double the recipe. I suggest you do just that because then you will have enough to enjoy AND to share.
Makes about 3 cups
3 cups raw whole almonds
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking pan. Roast almonds for 15 minutes, then remove from oven while you get everything else ready. Try to let the almonds cool completely if possible, but at least to lukewarm.
Meanwhile, on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil, place butter on the pan. Heat in oven until butter is melted, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon salt on medium speed until egg whites are frothy. Gradually add sugar. Increase speed to medium high and whisk until egg whites begin to form stiff peaks. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, cocoa powder and chili powder and whisk until well combined.
Add the cooled almonds to the whipped egg whites, stir to combine. Spread almond mixture in a single layer over melted butter on baking sheet. It's okay if you don't get it completely even. Return to oven and bake 30-40 minutes, stirring almonds every 10 minutes, gently scooping up the butter and mixing it in. Don't over-handle the mixture. Once the nuts are very fragrant and crispy, and your house smells amazing, remove from the oven and let cool completely. The almonds will crisp up into amazingly chocolatey crunchy clumps of goodness.
Almonds will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 2 months.