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Four tart, brownie and cookie recipes that make National Almond Day a nutty celebration

Aw, nuts! It’s National Almond Day. Almonds are one of my favorite baking ingredients because they’re so versatile. They play well with other nuts but can also stand alone. And isn’t that all you really want from a nut!?!

With over 500 recipes on Baked Chicago, I decided to go through the “archives” [e.g. Google site search] to find some of my favorite almond dessert recipes to share with you on this nut-tastic day.

What’s your favorite dish to make with almonds? Post your comments below and let’s see how nutty it gets.

Rum Raspberry-Almond Mini Tarts

Rum Raspberry-Almond Mini Tarts

Asylum Brownies with pistachios, walnuts and almonds

Asylum Brownies with Pistachios, Walnuts and Almonds

Cranberry-Almond Shortbread

Cinnamon Almond Cookies


Asylum Brownies, with Pistachios, Walnuts and Almonds

asylum brownies with pistachios, walnuts and almonds

The lunatics are running the asylum in this brownie recipe featuring pistachios, walnuts and almonds. In honor of National Pistachio Day, I wanted to share this brownie recipe that is overrun with nuts – but the pistachios are (in my opinion) the star of the show.

Yes, I am a pistachio addict. It’s one of a few naturally green foods I love to eat! And because of this pistachio compulsion, I usually only stock pistachios still in the shells in my pantry so it slows down the consumption rate and gives my fingers some strength training. But when I’m ready to bake with pistachios, it’s always much easier to buy them already shelled.

With this nutty brownie recipe, you can easily substitute any of the nuts with your favorites or whatever you have in the pantry. In most cases, it’s best to use raw nuts (or peanuts) to avoid possible burning of the brownie tops. But if you closely watch the brownies while they’re baking, you could safely use roasted or dry roasted nuts (which is what I prefer to do for an earthier flavor and crunchier texture).

Asylum Brownies, with Pistachios, Walnuts and Almonds

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 16 servings


1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup and 1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped, divided
1/4 cup and 1/4 cup almonds, chopped, divided
1/4 cup and 1/4 cup walnuts, shelled and chopped, divided
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup milk


Preheat your oven to 350° F. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9×9-inch baking pan with butter or shortening.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking powder, chocolate chips and 1/4 cup each of pistachios, walnuts and almonds. Add the melted butter, milk and egg. Mix just until ingredients are blended.

Pour batter into your prepared baking pan. Using a spatula, level the batter in the pan. In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup each of pistachios, walnuts and almonds. Sprinkle the nut mixture evenly over the top of the brownie batter.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the brownies cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows to make 16 brownies.

Snacks & Candies

sugar and spice nut mix

This nut mix is special enough for the holidays, but simple enough that you could make it on any Thursday night for the book club. Or would that be the Kindle Club? This recipe has four kinds of nuts, but you can easily include your favorite nut by swapping out an equal amount of your least favorite. But keep the almonds: the crunchy texture is a nice balance to the sugar-and-spice mix. Your mouth will thank you.

Preheat your oven to 300° F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the brown sugar with salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. In a large bowl, beat the egg white until frothy. Add the cashews, almonds, pecans and pistachios. Add the spiced sugar mix and toss.

Spread out the nuts on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until browned, stirring at least twice. Let the nuts cool on the baking sheet, stirring occasionally to avoid clumping. This sugar and spice nut mix may be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Adapted from Sugar-and-Spice Nuts Recipe – Bronson Van Wyck | Food & Wine.



3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 egg white
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw pistachios
1 cup raw almonds


Number of servings: 10

Cooking time: 45 minutes


Rum Raspberry-Almond Mini Tarts

Raspberry-almond mini tarts are fun to make – and eat. The reason is that I love, love, love the flavor of raspberry. So when I first saw this almond tarts recipe, I knew raspberry would be the perfect addition to provide a brighter flavor contrast. If you don’t love raspberries, then swap out the raspberry jam for your favorite fruit jam. Yes, it’s that simple.

Rum Raspberry-Almond Mini Tarts

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 30 mini tarts

2 mini tarts


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup butter, cubed
4 teaspoons butter, softened
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 eggs
1/2 cup almond paste
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon rum
1/3 cup raspberry jam, melted
1/3 cup almonds, sliced


In a small bowl, combine the flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and lemon peel. Cut in 1/2 cup cold butter until crumbly. Add the slightly beaten egg and toss with a fork until a dough ball forms. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray, and set aside.

To make the tart filling, beat the almond paste in a food processor until crumbly. Add the remaining sugar, softened butter, vanilla, rum and two eggs. Mix until smooth and set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 30 circles about 2 1/2 inches wide. Press the dough into the prepared mini muffins pan.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon 1 teaspoon of the tart filling into each shell. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake for 10 minutes longer or until the filling is set and pastry is lightly browned. Brush raspberry jam over tarts. Cool for 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.


Adapted from Almond Tartlets Recipe in Taste of Home