You’re making a cookie or cake recipe and you’re halfway through and realize… it doesn’t just call for almonds, it calls for blanched almonds. Do you turn off the oven and head to the store?
No need! Just use the almonds you already have on hand. It takes less than a minute to blanch and a couple of additional minutes to remove the skin.
A lot of of older recipes (and even some newer ones) call for peeled almonds. Blanching the nuts and removing the skin leaves a smooth finish on the nut.
Also you will save a few dollars by blanching your own right at home instead of buying the pre-skinned variety at the grocery store. The process is quick and easy.
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Boil
Bring a small pan of water to boil.
Add the raw almonds into the water and boil them for a minute. If you leave them in the boiling water much past this, the nuts will soften.
Step 2 – Drain and Blot
Use a colander or strainer to drain the nuts and run cold water over the top for a minute or two to keep them from softening.
Allow the nuts to drip dry and then blot with a paper towel. The skins will be shriveled and beginning to slip off on their own.
Step 3 – Squeeze and Peel
Gently squeeze the almonds between your thumb and index finger and the skin will slip right off of them. Squeeze a bit too? The nut will shoot across the room! Don’t let your kids steal any of these, or they’ll be using them as giant spitball replacements.
After the skins have been removed, it’s easier to slice the almonds in halves or slivers while they are still a bit damp.
You’ll need to let the nuts fully dry before you pack them away or use them in a recipe. Homemade blanched almonds are also perfect for grinding into almond meal.
You’ve successfully blanched your almonds! Get to baking!
What are your favorite recipes that use blanched almonds? Maybe in a cookie, or on top of an almond cake? Share with us in the comments.
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Photos by Mike Quinn, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.See our TOS for more details.
About Mike Quinn
Mike Quinn spent 20 years in the US Army and traveled extensively all over the world. As part of his military service, Mike sampled coffee and tea from all virtually every geographic region, from the beans from the plantation of an El Salvadorian Army Colonel to "Chi" in Iraq to Turkish Coffee in the Turkish Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. He spent nearly a decade in the Republic of Korea where he was exposed to all forms of traditional teas. Mike formerly owned and operated Cup And Brew, an online espresso and coffee equipment retail operation.