Caramelized Almonds (Gebrannte Mandeln)

If you’ve ever visited Germany around this time of the year, you will most likely have visited the popular Christmas Markets (Christkindlmarkt). It is my favorite time of the year to visit family in Germany. Walking around the market, visiting the various booths with specialty and artisanal products, drinking some mulled wine (Glühwein), and eating all sorts of treats; my favorite has always been the caramelized almonds. The smell of the roasted almonds takes over the market and to me, that is the smell of the season.

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Ready in 15 minutes – Makes 2 cups

To make this recipe you’ll need:

  • 2 cups (200 gr) raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup (50 gr) white sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 gr) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 ml) water
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinammon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

In a non stick pan, over medium heat, place the water, the sugars, and the spices and bring to a boil. Put the almonds in the boiling syrup and with a spatula or wooden spoon cover the almonds in the syrup. Stir constantly, until all the water evaporates. The sugar will crystallize again, making the almonds look matte, but continue to stir, this is the most critical time, as the sugar will start to caramelize and will coat the almonds with a beautiful shine. Stir a little slower to make sure all sides of the almonds are caramelized; do not let the sugar burn. As soon as you see that the almonds are shiny, remove from heat and place them on the baking sheet. With the help of the spatula or spoon try to separate the almonds as much as you can. Leave them to cool down. 

Helpful Tips:

  • If you still have some clumps of almonds, separate them by hand once they have cooled off.
  • These are great as a snack or as a gift for someone this holiday season.

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