Thursday, November 25, 2010

Smoked Almond Turtles and Garlic Knots

Smoked Almond Turtles

There is always, always, always something to be thankful for. I have many to be thankful for this year and I’ll continue to count my blessings every day.

I’m thankful for this lovely place called home, because it’s not just a house. It’s called home because it’s filled with love, and people I love.

I’m thankful for having many good friends in my life. Although we don’t see each other very often, but they’re like stars, I know they are always there. So, I keep them closed to my heart.

Smoked Almond Turtles

We should give without remembering and receive without forgetting. No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. I’m thankful that I have the abilities to give and have great friends and family that help and support me to become who I am today. 

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.

It isn't what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart. I believe the greatest things in life are free. The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.

Smoked Almond Turtles 
I’m thankful for all of you.  Who read and support my blog, weeks after weeks.  Left me comments and words of encouragement from time to time.  Thank you for all that you have given me. I hope that I can give it back... tenfold and more.  I will work my hardest to keep doing so.

I hope all of you have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. And let’s not forget those who are less fortunate around us.

This Thanksgiving, my family is going to have a gathering at my cousin’s house. We always have a big family gathering every year. I’m going to bring these Garlic Knots and Smoked Almond Turtles to share with them. Of course, I’m sharing my recipes with you all. For the rest of the feast, I’ll take pictures and post them up later on. Hope you all have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving.

Garlic Knots


Smoked Almond Turtles:
Makes 30 mini turtles
1 cup (5 ounces) coarsely chopped smoked almonds
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 cup bittersweet (60 percent cacao) chocolate chips (recommended: Ghiradelli)
Line 30 mini muffin pan with foil paper cups. Put the almonds on the bottom of each muffin cup and set aside.

For the caramel: In a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cream, butter, sugar, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, about 5 to 7 minutes. Let the mixture cool for 30 seconds. Using a long-handled, metal spoon, carefully spoon the caramel over the nuts. Allow the caramel to harden, at room temperature, for 1 hour.

Put the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Melt chocolate in microwave, stop and stir in 30 seconds intervals until all chocolate melted. Spoon the chocolate over the caramel and top each one with a smoked almond while chocolate is still soft. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Let the turtles stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the caramel to soften before serving.

Garlic Knots:
Makes about 36 knots

4 ½ cup bread flour
11/2 cup warm milk (around 115°F)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoon Sugar
2 tablespoon active dry yeast
4 tablespoon melted butter

Garlic Coating
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 tablespoon unsalted Butter
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian Parsley
sea salt to taste

Combine milk, butter, salt, sugar, and active dry yeast in a large re-sealable container or bowl. Mix to dissolve yeast.

Add flour.  Mix to incorporate flour, cover, and set in a warm spot to proof until doubled in volume (1 to 2 hours)

Set up your knotting station.  Grease a large wooden cutting board and a rolling pin with olive oil. Prepare a pizza cutter, a container of flour within easy reach. Then, line several sheet pans with parchment paper.
Oil your hands to help keep dough from sticking to them. Divide the dough in two parts.  Take the first half, put it onto the oiled board and slightly punch out the air bubbles in them.  Using the rolling pin, spread into an even rectangle approx. 5″x9″ and 1/2″ thick. Slice the rectangle into 1/2″x5″ strips.

Lightly sprinkle dough strips and board with flour.  Taking a strip and roll it back and forth to create an even rope. Tie into a knot (over, under, and through) and place it on lined sheet pan. Place knots about 1 1/2″ apart.  

Continue making the rest of the knots with the second half of the dough. After each sheet pan fills up, cover with a dry sack towel, and place in a warm spot to rise.
Preheat oven to 355° F

After knots have doubled in size, take off dry sack towel and place sheet pans in the oven.  Bake knots for approx. 13-15 minutes or until slightly golden, cool on wire rack.
While knots are cooling, make garlic coating.  In a small saucepan with low heat, gently warm olive oil, butter, and garlic. Cook it for a few minutes until soft & slightly golden. Off the heat, add chopped parsley and set aside.

Place knots in a large bowl and toss with garlic coating, season with sea salt to taste.

Best served warm, but still good at room temperature.


  1. Beautiful Post! I love all that you said about being Thankful, Amy! It's so true...all of it!

    "Give without remembering, and receive without forgetting" is especially poignant to me! Love it!

    As always, your recipes are mouth watering and a picture of perfection! Lovely! Thank you for your kind comments on my blog also!

    Counting Blessings (not just today...but every day!) Lorraine xo

  2. Lovely post. The smoked almond turtles sound decadent. I like the combination of not just salty with sweet, but smoky as well.

  3. @ Lorraine from A multi-dimensional life: You're always welcome and, thank you! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and love ones.

  4. @ Pattie from olla-Podrida: Thank you for visitng my blog and leaving a comments. Yes, give those Amoked Almond Turtles a try. I'm sure you will love them. They are really easy to make as well. :)