Jordan Almond Crusted Chicken

Jordan Almonds are not just for weddings anymore.  A few weeks ago, Oh! Nuts asked if I was interested in receiving some Jordan Almonds to develop a recipe.  Sure why not?!  I had never had a Jordan Almond before, so I was a little nervous.  I figured Google would save me, and I could find something to build on.  NOPE!!  Not a single recipe could I find that used Jordan Almonds. Well, the package arrived and they were nothing like what I thought.  In my head I was thinking M&M without the chocolate.  Not so much.  The candy coating is very thick, and they are full size almonds; so they are big.  This is probably nothing you don’t already know, I seem to be the last one on the planet who didn’t know what Jordan Almonds were.

I came up with a couple ideas of what to do with them, and ran them by my husband.  We both decided that Blondies were the way to go.  So, I whipped up my normal Blondie recipe, adding in some chopped Jordan Almonds and a few chocolate chips.  They came out of the oven, and they were fine.  I mean if I was using regular almonds, I would say the recipe was a real winner.  But the candy coating got completely lost.  Back to the drawing board.  How about almond bark, with other candy and Jordan Almonds?  Too safe.  How about a cupcake and using Jordan Almonds for decoration?  Seemed like cheating.  How about almond crusted chicken, with Jordan Almonds?  Just might work!

This chicken was moist and actually really good.  You get a little bit of sweetness from the candy coating, but not over powering.  I made a Beurre Blanc sauce to go with it, and I would not recommend that.  It had shallots in it, and it just added too much sweetness.  It was must better on its own.  Maybe a mustard cream sauce would be better, or even a little bit of cheese would be good.  I am going to have to keep my husband out of the bag of almonds, so I can make this again!

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Hershey's Peppermint Macadamia Nut Oatmeal Cookies

My house is Christmafied!  Yes, that is a word!  We got our Christmas tree on Saturday, and boy was that an adventure.  My husband and I both grew up going to a Christmas Tree Farm, and cutting down our own tree.  Since we have been married though, we have never lived near a place where that was economical or easily accessible.  Well that all changed this year.  We live near the mountains, and the mountains have trees!  Saturday morning we were doing our research to see where we should go.  My husband came across information about a National Forest that allowed you to cut down trees.  You could buy a permit and trek into the forest to get your tree (snow shoes recommended).  One little problem, you needed a 4wd vehicle.  After calling around we found a place that had a 4wd vehicle available to rent for the afternoon.  So we got all of our stuff together and set out on our National Lampoon Adventure.  We had to drive about an hour to get there, but once there it was amazing.  We were surprised  by how many people were there (a couple hundred at least).  Smokey the Bear was there to greet everyone and take pictures.  We got on our snow shoes and trekked through the National Forest to find a tree!  In the end we cut down one small tree for our 6 year old to decorate, and then went to a local place to get a big family tree.  As much fun as it was, the trees were all very much Charlie Brown trees.  It was a “Forest” afterall.  I do think this will become a tradition though, it was something we could have never done living in the Midwest.

Ok, onto the food!

Oh! Nuts contacted me to see if I would like to try some of their nuts for my Holiday baking.  Of course I would!!  I wanted to do a holiday version of a White Chocolate Macadamian Nut Cookie.  I love the Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses, and knew they would be a major player in my recipe.  Then, I saw these White Chocolate Peppermint cookies over at Love from the Oven, and knew this was along the lines of what I was looking for.   I was very nervous about baking cookies in the altitude, but it worked!!  They came out thick and chewy.  You can see my alterations in blue below if you are baking at anything over 3500 feet.

These would make the perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray.  They are soft, chewy, full of peppermint, and have the crunch from the nuts.

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