Kitchen Gifts: Taco Almonds

Our final gift from the kitchen for this holiday season is probably our favorite. Who doesn't love tacos? Get all the flavor in one of your favorite nuts and make them in your home without turning on the oven. Got your attention?

We've already discussed how your slow cooker can be used for toasting all kinds of great items like granola. Nuts are no different and the flavoring options are nearly endless. This version is inspired by our love of tex-mex foods, but you could just as easily make them sweet cinnamon or wasabi soy. For this to work, the only things you need are a slow cooker, some fat to help coat the nuts and keep them from burning, seasoning to your liking, raw nuts, and a willingness to check them often and stir. Don't leave them on their own for more than a half hour or you could be facing burnt nuts and that's anything but tasty!

I like to pile these into squat jars, tie a ribbon and label onto them, and put them in that same basket that is holding the granola we talked about earlier. Suddenly, you have a couple fun homemade gifts to choose from when the giving spirit visits you!

Taco Almonds

Put the butter into the bottom of your slow cooker, place the lid on your slow cooker, and turn to low. Heat while you assemble your ingredients and mince the garlic. Add the almonds, garlic, and taco seasoning. Stir until everything is well-coated. Set the lid on your slow cooker so that it's tilted and air can easily escape. Cook on low for 2-3 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes, until the nuts are lightly toasted and very fragrant. Serve warm or cool.

  • Yields: 4 cups
  • Preparation Time: About 3 hours