It’s National Almond Day! I pretty much adore almonds: the little nut that could can be found in so many food items, from sweet to savory, in cookies, breads, side dishes, and even distilled into almond liqueurs. Not only that, but almonds can be manipulated for those with food allergies to substitute some of our most beloved food staples: ground almond flour can be used instead of wheat flour for the gluten-intolerant, and pasteurized almond milk is a great alternative for the lactose-intolerant. You can usually find a half gallon of unsweetened almond milk in my fridge: it’s thinner than soymilk, with less sugar and calories, and reminds me more of the skim milk I liked back when lactose wasn’t as bad of a problem. Almond milk is literally saving my cereal for me!

But there are many ways you can cook an almond, and there are some great versions out there in the New York City restaurant scene. Last year for National Almond Day I highlighted one of the most delectable-sounding appetizers going around the city today. Sure, almonds are great, but what would make them even better? Add maple syrup and bacon, of course! Buttermilk Channel does that with their high-end and high-flavor take on the bar staple, corn nuts: almonds are mixed with chunks of crispy slab bacon and coated in maple syrup for a quick bite that will have you salivating for more.

And if you just can’t get enough of Buttermilk Channel’s bacon maple almond appetizer, you can make this super easy dish right at home! The blog Skulls and Bacon shared this recipe that comes straight from the restaurant itself. You may even want to save this gem for later in the year when National Maple Syrup Day comes around. It’s so delicious, it’s worth eating twice!

Maple and Bacon Roasted Almonds
From Buttermilk Channel, via Skulls and Bacon

Ingredients:
1 pound almonds
1/2 pound slab bacon
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tbs. mustard powder
Salt

Directions:

1. Cut bacon into large dice, about the size of a whole almond. Cook bacon until it’s crispy. Toss bacon, bacon fat, almonds and mustard powder until almonds are well coated.
2. Combine with maple syrup and toss again till well coated. Cook, stirring constantly, until maple syrup is just coating the almonds. Pour onto a paper lined sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt. Let cool.
3. Should resemble brittle when done.

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