Gilded almonds can add an elegant touch of gold to cakes, fruit bowls and candy dishes, and make opulent wedding favors. Pure gold leaf is edible, and will simply pass through the body unchanged; be sure to purchase gold leaf that specifies that it is edible, as some types used to gild non-edible objects contain copper. Almonds in any form may be gilded, in or out of the shell. The texture will remain intact. Smooth jordan almonds also make a good base for edible gilding.
Put on gloves before handling gold leaf, to protect it from any oils or moisture from your hands.
Place almonds on parchment paper. Working one at a time, dip paintbrush into sugar water and lightly moisten the almonds; this will help the gold leaf adhere to the dry nuts.
Cut or tear a small mount of gold leaf, about the size of the nut, and slide it from its paper backing to the almond. Press very lightly with your finger and repeat in pieces until the almond is covered. It should take only two or three tiny pieces to fully cover an almond.
Smooth the gold leaf over the surface carefully, using the fan brush, until it has taken the texture of the almond and has an even appearance. Work very lightly, taking care not to pull off flakes of the gold leaf. When finished, gilded almonds are ready for use.