Here's a good question from Joan, who is busy cleaning out her freezer:
What do I do with Trader Joe's almond meal that I bought on impulse and stored in the freezer? I am thinking baking projects ... but don't know where to start.
Almond meal, like the very well-priced stuff from Trader Joe's, or the more spendy Bob's Red Mill brand pictured above, is a flour-like meal made from crushed almonds. (You can actually make your own with nothing more than plain almonds and a good food processor.)
It is indeed very good for baking, especially in Passover or gluten-free cakes. One famous cake that we love that is made with crushed almonds or almond meal is Nigella's clementine and almond cake. This basically has you take a whole bunch of clementines, boil them, and then whiz them up, peels and all, with some crushed almonds. The final cake is delicious, moist, and nutty. Here is another basic cake recipe that incorporates nut meal; that particular recipe calls for pecan meal, but almond meal could be used just as easily.
Another famous use for almond meal is macarons, those deliciously chewy little cookies with buttercream filling. One more favorite use for it is almond croissants, a special breakfast treat. I make almond croissants with day-old croissants, split and filled with a mixture of beaten eggs, almond meal, and sugar. They are baked until crispy, then dusted with powdered sugar. So delicious!
Here are recipes for some of these ideas, plus a few more.
• D.I.Y. Almond Croissants
• Recipe: Pecan Cake - Substitute almond meal.
• Milk and Honey Peanut Butter Balls - Try substituting for the milk powder.
• Almond Cream Pie
• Almond Muffins With Gooey Fig Center
• Almond Cream Cheese Apricots
• Almond Bites with Dark Chocolate Ganache
Readers, do you have other ideas for almond meal? What's your favorite way to use it?