German Roasted Almonds

German Roasted Almonds are my favorite holiday treat.  When I was growing up, these sugary, spicy nuts were one of the highlights at the Kentucky State Fair.  Those little $4 cones of nutty goodness were a classy addition to grater taters spritzed with vinegar and deep-fried corn dogs.  When I moved away from Kentucky and the State Fair, I started making them for the holidays.  They’re now a must at Christmas time.

This year, I made my own festive paper cones, filled them with German Roasted Almonds, and gave them as teachers’ gifts.  They were beautiful and inexpensive gifts.  I made two batches of almonds and had enough for 11 cones plus some extra to keep at home for less than $20.  If you already have the scrapbook paper and embellishments, it costs even less.   They look pretty in a bowl for parties, too.  Or you could skip all the craftiness and thoughtfulness and eat them yourself.

German Roasted Almonds are so easy to make. As my Christmas gift to you, here’s the recipe. You’re welcome.

German Roasted Almonds

Ingredients

1 lb. bag raw almonds (pecans are delicious as well)
1 egg white
1 tbsp. water
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice OR 2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 250°

2.  Beat egg white and water in large bowl until frothy.

3.  Add nuts and mix well.

German Roasted Almonds in Egg White

4.  Combine sugars and spice in small bowl and toss with the nut mixture.

5.  Line large baking sheet with foil and spray with oil spray or grease with shortening and wipe off excess with paper towel.   Spread nuts in single layer.

German Roasted Almonds on baking sheet

5.  Bake for 20 minutes.  After 2o minutes, toss nuts lightly with a plastic spatula to break up clumps  (be careful not to knock the coating off.)  Make sure to spread nuts into single layer before returning to the oven for another 20 minutes.  Repeat and return to the oven.
When nuts have baked for a total of 1 hour, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.

The nuts will be soft at first, but will get crunchy as they cool.  Be sure to eat some while they’re still warm.  So delicious.

And so pretty!

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Giraffe Cake

I have so many posts in draft that I could finish, but it’s 11:30 on Sunday night and I don’t feel like thinking.  Besides, tomorrow is Monday.  Who feels like reading on a Monday?  So, for your pleasure and mine, a cake.  Cake is always a good idea.

It’s not the best cake I’ve ever done, but I think it’s cute.  I drew the giraffe free-hand and it wasn’t my idea to make it blue with neon green spots.  However, the color palette is my favorite part about this cake.  All the colors were vibrant and cheerful and my client (and her daughter) were happy.  Success!

In other cake news, I’m doing a wedding cake in December.  I always get nervous doing wedding cakes.  A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event (theoretically) and the cake needs to be perfect.  Ach, wish me luck.

The Forgotten Cake

Daily Foglifter:  In fiscal year 2010, John Deere reported an income of nearly $1.9 Billion.

So I had kind of a bad week last week.  A stomach virus made its way into our house.  I should say, made its way into me and the baby.  Everyone else managed to avoid it.  Lucky them.  There is nothing like being nauseous and having to change the diaper of a baby with a stomach bug.  Good times.

In the throes of the stomach virus, I completely forgot that I was supposed to do a cake.  It’s Thursday night and I’m supposed to have a cake ready for my husband to take to work with him at 7:00 am on Friday.  It wasn’t happening.  I managed to bake the cake but the decorating would have to wait until Friday morning after the kids got on the bus.

The kids missed the bus.  I had to take them to school and waste a precious hour of cake decorating time.  I had exactly 3 hours to get the thing done.  Not a good thing because this one was a sculpted cake.  Yowza.

Making a sculpted cake is Fun.  It’s also time consuming.  Cakes have to be cut and frozen and cut again before they can be iced and actually decorated.  It’s like doing sculpture, but more tasty.

The First Cut

The Basic Shape

This is the first step in a sculpted cake.  I’ve got the basic shape and now the cake has to be partially frozen so that when I carve, it doesn’t fall to pieces. 

The Second Cut:  Carving the Final Shape

Carving the Cake

This particular cake was easy, thank goodness.  I’ve done cakes in the past that have rounded edges and that is not easy to do.  Of course, the more I have to carve, the better the leftover pieces to eat.  Unfortunately, this is not good for the waistline.  On the other hand, I haven’t had a waistline since kid #2, so, “Chow down” is my philosophy.

The Best Part

After gorging myself on cake scraps, I go on to the next step.

Icing the Cake

Iced and Ready for Fondant

When this is done, the cake goes back into the freezer while I make the marshmallow fondant.  This time, the fondant had to be made white and have the colors kneaded in, individually. This is a giant pain in the butt.  Or, in the hands and arms, I should say.  I have carpal tunnel and this does not help matters.  Sometimes, I can’t feel my fingertips for a day or two after I’m done.  Not to mention that my hands are stained for days as well. 

The Incredible Hulk

I had to make green, yellow, blue, and the dreaded black fondant.  I wanted a picture of that, but I didn’t dare touch anything with my black hands.  It was a mess.  Now, two days later, my hands are a sickly purple color.  I look bruised, or just plain dirty. 

Well, the fondant was made and now came the tricky part.  Covering the cake.  This one was harder than the LEGO head because it had to be done in parts since the cake was irregularly shaped.  There is a lot of cutting and measuring done to get the cake covered completely. 

Covering the Cake

Once that part is done, the rest is easy.  I love adding the details.  Really, the appearance of the cake is all in the details. Any flaws in the fondant can be masked with a cute little detail such as a flower, or in this case, a strategically placed logo.

The Details

At this point, I had exactly 5 minutes to get out the door if I wanted to get the cake to its destination in time.  The teeth were messed up and there could have been more detail on the grill, but time had run out.  Notice anything else missing?  The wheels.  I forgot about that part.  The solution?  Chocolate covered donuts.  The only problem was that I didn’t have chocolate covered donuts.  I would have to make a stop at the grocery store and then do some quick decorating in the car. 

I grabbed the napping baby who happened to be wearing only a diaper and a dirty pajama top and put her in the car with the almost finished cake.  I was covered from head to toe with a fine dusting of powdered sugar but there was a deadline I was about to completely miss.  So I got in the car, hair in a falling ponytail, hands stained a deep purple, and white marks on my clothes and possibly my face, and headed to the store with an equally sloppy baby.  I have no shame.

Of course, the first store I went to didn’t have the big donuts. I had to go to the trusty Kroger.  Of course they had them and I attached them with a tube of store-bought black icing.  The effect was quite nice, though I could’ve done them much better if I had had the time.

John Deere Tractor--Pixar Style

Well, I think this is my last post on the art of cake decorating.  I actually have 4 more cakes to make over the next month, but I’ll just post photos. I’m falling asleep writing about it.  I can imagine how it is to read it.

“She wrote me a ‘john-deere’ letter… something about me not listening enough, I don’t know… I wasn’t really paying attention.”  ~Harry Dunne in “Dumb and Dumber”

Let Them Eat Cake

Basket of Violets

I have about five minutes to spare for momfog today, so here are more cakes to see.  These are the pictures that wouldn’t load yesterday because of the gremlins in my computer.  Again, the order in which they appear is completely random, according to what this stupid thing feels like doing today.  Also, please disregard any combined captions.  How that happened, I’ll never know.  Ugh.   I HATE computers, sometimes.

Book cake for English MajorClassic Lilies

Wedding Flowers

Spirals Wedding Cake

High TeaSweet Hearts

Pretty in Pink

Death by Chocolate Roses

It's a Boy!

Basketweave and Flowers

Harley Davidson

Girl's 1st Birthday with Smash Cake

Lilies and ScrollsGulfstream Cake

Relay for Life Rice Crispy Shoes

Relay For Life Wonky Cake Fondant People

Teacher Appreciation

Happy Thanksgiving

Tink with Flowers and a Big Bow

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