Eatmas, Chownukah, New Grubs Eve. That’s what the holidays should be called. When else do we have plates, platters, and bowls of savory and sweet snacks always readily available? What other holiday is it socially acceptable to give homemade, edible treats? I’m tellin’ ya, the holidays are a foodie’s paradise. And so are these Mexican hot chocolate almonds.
True story, I hoard uniquely-shaped containers all year round JUST to repurpose them for food gifting. Last Christmas I begged my sister for the tube that held her Sephora makeup gift, because I knew, JUST KNEW it would make a perfect container for snickerdoodle cookies. The depths of my visions are REAL. A true artist has no limits my friends!!
My containers get stashed in the back of the pantry, annoying my dear husband and taking up precious food real estate. Then the holidays roll around and I’m inspired! I’m alive! I’m doing what I do best! Eating….errr I mean making foodie gifts for my buds.
Cookies are great, bars are the bomb, but almonds? YES almonds are the ultimate, “Happy holidays! Nuts are healthier and more expensive than baked goods so this gift shows how much you mean to me.” Plus almonds stay fresh for WEEKS. And I’m pretty sure (no, I’m totally sure) almonds love repeated songs from Michael Buble’s Christmas album as much as I do.
A few Christmases ago, I had my first bite of a Mexican hot chocolate brownie. It was the brownie of all brownies. This thing BLEW MY MIND! Now I can’t have a ‘regular’ brownie anymore, it just doesn’t compare. Since then I have been coming up with ways to incorporate cocoa with cinnamon and cayenne in everything. Don’t make the same mistakes I did – the combination doesn’t pair well in salad dressings, margaritas, or chicken noodle soup. But it DOES pair well with almonds. YESSSS!
These Mexican hot chocolate almonds are everything you’ve dreamed of – crunchy almonds, sweet dark chocolate, savory fall spices, a ‘lil heat, and a generous dusting of cocoa powder. The best part? They are a super-duper healthy superfood (did I already say super?). Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, magnesium, and protein. While dark chocolate is stocked full of antioxidants. Healthy holiday treats CAN be done! Here’s how:
To start, heat two teaspoons coconut oil in a medium saucepan or cast-iron skillet on low. Add the dark chocolate and stir frequently, being very careful not to burn. Once the chocolate is melted, add the almonds and coat evenly.
Note: I used a 72% cocoa dark chocolate bar. This leads to a slightly bittersweet chocolate flavor. If you prefer a sweeter taste, use chocolate with a lower percentage of cocoa.
In a paper grocery bag, combine the cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and sea salt. Next, use a large spoon to scoop the chocolate almonds from the skillet into the grocery bag. Fold the top of the bag a few times until it’s sealed well, using your hands to secure the top. Then vigorously shake the bag for approximately 30 seconds, in order for all the spices and cocoa powder to stick to the almonds.
Next, pour the almonds onto a baking sheet and spread evenly. Sprinkle the additional tablespoon of cocoa powder on the almonds and shake the baking sheet, to coat all the almonds.
Let cool and store in an airtight glass jar.
Not only will you rock at making this easy, sweet treat, but the gift-recipiant will be like, “WOW she bought me gourmet almonds. Now I have to give her something REALLY good!” That’s not what the holidays are about, I know, but it does make you look pretty dang impressive. And I’m all about blowing people’s minds with a minimal amount of effort. Hence why my Christmas tree is pre-lit, my wrapping paper has line guides, and my food containers are converted into the most amazing food-gifting-keeper-contraptions.
- 2 cups almonds
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1.75 oz dark chocolate
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon for dusting
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (less or more depending on how much heat you like)
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- Heat coconut oil in a medium saucepan or cast iron skillet on low.
- Once oil is melted, add the dark chocolate and stir frequently, being careful not to burn.
- Add the almonds and stir to coat evenly.
- In a paper grocery bag, combine the cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, and salt.
- Once all the almonds are coated with the dark chocolate, use a large spoon to scoop the almonds from the skillet into the grocery bag.
- Fold the top of the bag a few times until sealed well, using your hands to secure the top. Then vigorously shake the bag for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Pour the almonds on to a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cocoa powder on the almonds and shake the baking sheet to evenly dust all the almonds.
- Let cool then store in an airtight glass jar.
Disclaimer: Please note that there may be some affiliate links on this page and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. However, all opinions are my own. Thank you for your support.