This week I decided to make cocoa almonds. It was a bittersweet endeavor as I cannot actually eat the almonds…well not yet anyway. You see I had a tooth extracted last Friday, and I am still “babying” my mouth. I can only eat on the right side, and it is still a bit difficult to chomp down on really crunchy foods or treats. I did save a small bag of almonds for myself, so I will eat them as soon as I physically am able. ☺ So here is how it all unfolded. I always make end of the year treats for the office staff, the Principals, and all the kids’ teachers. They really enjoy my fudge so I knew that I was going to make a couple batches to distribute. Then last week, one of the ladies in the office teased me that she really liked almonds and pistachios, and jokingly told me to make something for her. Of course I obliged, and made the office staff and the Principals cinnamon dusted glazed almonds as a little sweet treat…YUM! So as I was leaving the office yesterday, I asked the same “nut loving lady” if she’d prefer fudge or cocoa almonds as her year-end treat. She had to really think about that as she said that she really didn’t care for fudge, but her husband LOVED my fudge. In fact, for the last six years, every time I make the fudge he confiscates it as soon as she walks in the door. Since she was having a hard time choosing between the cocoa almonds for herself, or the fudge for her husband, I decided to make it easy for her, and just make both treats.
So that’s what I spent the majority of yesterday doing…making sweet treats. In addition to the fudge and the cocoa almonds, I also had to bake cookies for the middle school’s honors assembly. Man oh man did our house smell divine! The fudge is amazing! So are the almonds…I guess…I haven’t really eaten any…darn tooth! The kids said the cookies came out great too. I didn’t eat any of those either as I was “sugared out” from the fudge and Ryan’s cookies. Yes I said Ryan’s cookies. Both kids got bit by the “baking bug” over the weekend, so they both made their own sweet treats. Victoria made these really delicious cupcakes to which she added sprinkles, chocolate chips, and vegan marshmallows. They are so yummy they didn’t even require frosting. She actually invented a really yummy recipe for Israeli couscous salad too. Ryan wanted to bake cookies, and he chose a recipe from my Mrs. Field’s Cookie Book titled “Kids Bake ‘Em Cookies.” I had never baked these cookies before as the recipe calls for a half cup of honey. I don’t actually like honey, so I never chose to try this recipe before. Well Ryan really wanted to try these cookies as he was drawn to the name, so I figured what the heck. Well I am happy to report that Ryan’s cookies are DELICIOUS! You can’t even taste the honey once the cookies are cooled. They are chewy and super yummy. I would definitely make these cookies again…what a delicious surprise! Anyway, I’d succumbed to temptation more than a couple of times yesterday, and ate a few of Ryan’s cookies, so I didn’t eat any of the cookies I baked for the middle school. As I mentioned above, the kids said they were good, and that’s good enough for me. Here is the link to the cookie recipe Ryan baked: http://jmzconsulting.com/marc/GoodFood/sweet/KidCookies.html Interestingly, these cookies are egg and milk free. We did make one substitution. I didn’t have a full half cup of honey in the pantry, so we made up the difference by using agave nectar.
The last 2 weeks of school are usually pretty busy. Last week, I had my last TCB meeting of the year, and Ryan’s second grade picnic on Wednesday. I chaperoned Victoria’s 6th grade field trip to C.J. Barrymoore’s on Thursday, and then on Friday I got my darn tooth pulled. Then this week, we had Ryan’s last soccer game on Monday. White Lightning struck for the last time and beat Capac 4-1. I sincerely hope that Dan and Ryan didn’t get used to winning. You see we were fortunate enough to have the “dream team” this year, and I doubt that the combination of enthusiasm and pure raw talent can be replicated. Many of the boys are moving up to U-12 so we will have to start all over again come the fall half of the season. Then yesterday we had the honors assembly. Victoria was invited to attend, and she was honored for receiving all A’s on her report card for the whole year! It was a nice assembly, and I loved seeing all the kids receive much deserved accolades for all their hard work. Then today was the last day of school. I was happy to distribute all my sweet treats to the people who work so hard to make the kids’ schools such a great place. So that’s it…summer is officially here, and I for one am more than ready. This summer I hope to experiment with a ton of new recipes, and spend some relaxing summer days right here at home. Happy Summer!
Here is the recipe for the cocoa almonds:
- 2 cups almonds
- 6 oz. chocolate (chocolate chips are fine)
- 1/4 powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1. In a microwave bowl melt the chocolate, stirring at 30 second intervals until melted. 2. Once melted add the almonds and stir until all are coated in chocolate. 3. Then in a ziplock gallon size plastic bag add the sugar, cocoa, and chocolate covered almonds. 4. Zip the bag closed and shake until all almonds are coated in the sugar/cocoa mixture. 5. Spread the almonds on a parchment or wax lined baking sheet to dry. Break up any clusters that form.