How to Finely Chop Almonds

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Let the amount of almonds you need to finely chop determine the chopping method. If you're chopping 1 cup or less, use a sharp chef's knife. If you're chopping more than 1 cup, use a mini chopper or a regular food processor. Mini choppers theoretically handle up to 3 cups at once, and food choppers vary widely in capacity, but only chop in 1-cup batches when using either. Chill the almonds and the processor or chopper blade in the freezer for the cleanest cuts.

  • Freeze the almonds for at least 30 minutes to harden them. Pile 1/2 cup of sliced, chopped or whole almonds in a small mound in the center of a cutting board.

  • Position the center portion of the knife blade just to the top-right of the pile. Hold the knife in the chopping position.

  • Rock the knife back and forth over the almonds while moving it slowly to the left of the pile; let the tip of the knife stay in the same vicinity as when you started throughout chopping.

  • Repeat the chopping movement -- using the blade's curvature to facilitate each short chop -- while moving the knife back over the nuts, to the right this time.

  • Collect the nuts in the center of the board with the knife blade to repeat the chopping movement until they reach the desired fineness. It usually takes about 15 to 20 passes to chop the nuts finely if you have moderate knife skills. Repeat with the remaining almonds.

Chopper or Food Processor

  • Add 1 cup of almonds to the mini chopper or food processor along with 1 teaspoon of flour, sugar or breadcrumbs. If using the almonds in a dessert, use sugar or flour and deduct it from what's called for in the recipe. If you're not using them in a recipe, use breadcrumbs.

  • Pulse the almonds until finely chopped. It usually takes between five and eight pulses, depending on the power of the chopper or processor.

  • Transfer the almonds to an airtight container if not using immediately and store them in the refrigerator up to 1 month.

Tips & Warnings

  • Overcome almonds' hardness and slight curvature and make them easier to chop by using the proper knife technique. Wrap your index finger over and around the base of the blade and grasp the handle with the other three fingers around the handle; don't balance your index finger on top of the blade. Place your palm of your other hand on top of the blade with your finger extended.
  • As an alternative to knives and food processors, place the almonds in an even layer in a sealable food-storage bag, wrap a tea towel around it, and pound them using a meat mallet or rolling pin until they reach the desired fineness.

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References

  • Photo Credit Ron Chapple Stock/Ron Chapple Studios/Getty Images
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