Monthly Archives: June 2013

Why we use Almonds

So you may have noticed we have a thing for Almonds around here.  Obviously, one of the reasons for this is they taste OH SO GOOD!  But there’s a bit more to the story than that for us.

Let’s start with the basics.  An estimated 1.5 MILLION Americans are allergic to Peanuts!  Additionally, the tree nut (walnut, hazelnut, etc) allergy is one of the most common food allergies.   I am among those allergic to Tree Nuts.  No Nutella for me.  No brownies with walnuts.. and no traditional Turtle candy.  Sigh.

After years of feeling deprived I discovered something interesting.  Almonds didn’t cause a
reaction.  So I started researching the phenomenon.  And low and behold there was a reason behind it.

Almonds, though incorrectly

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classified places, are actually NOT a nut!  They are actually a Drupe!  Beyond that the definitions get pretty technical, but the end result is many folks who are allergic to tree nuts are NOT allergic to Almonds!

So we won’t use Tree Nuts, and we don’t use Peanuts, …but you’ll see lots of creamy, yummy Almonds in our candy!

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Playing with Brittle

I’ve learned to love me some brittle!  Over the years we decided to try something amazing.  ALMOND BRITTLE!
I’ve never been much of a fan of Peanut Brittle…so I have to admit I didn’t think this would be all that.  But it’s melt in your mouth good!

I should explain at this point, that I’m allergic to nuts.  This is where people usually freak out.  How can I have Peanut Brittle or Almond Brittle?  The truth is that neither is a nut.  Peanuts are legumes (like a bean) and almonds are a fruit.  Why the FDA hasn’t corrected this is beyond me, but it’s true.  Almonds are not actually nuts.  So, it’s become our favorite substitute for nuts…or legumes as some people have that allergy as well.  I’ve heard of just a very few people who are allergic to Almonds, so it’s really the safest choice.

OK back to the point.  Almond brittle was Amazing.  It had a wonderful snap and then melted in my mouth.  Perfection.  So it finally occurred to me that maybe it wasn’t the almonds, but our recipe for the brittle candy itself that was so wonderful.

Blood Orange BrittleEnter a friend with extra Blood Oranges.  They just asked to be squeezed and zested.

And ultimately put into the brittle!

The house smelled wonderful and Blood Orange Brittle tasted as good as we thought.

Brown Butter Cranberry Almond Brittle

 

So I wondered what else would work. . .and as I made another batch of Browned Butter Almond Brittle,  I decided to throw in a few dried cranberries and viola!  A little bit of tart to sprinkle into that wonderful rich sweet flavor.

White Chocolate Cranberry Brittle cracked

A little progression. . and that urge to put chocolate with everything and we get to our Cranberry & White Chocolate Brittle.  (soon to be entered in the OC Fair!)

I don’t typically prefer white chocolate, but the combinations of flavors here is just heavenly.

This is my new favorite brittle!!

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