Caramelized Spiced Almonds

Caramelized Spiced Almonds
Sonja_For The Pleasure Of Eating

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I’m Sonja and “For The Pleasure Of Eating” is my food blog.

Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds or discover new recipes, my blog is the perfect place to find ideas that impress your family and friends while creating a party in your mouth!

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Caramelized Spiced Almonds taste like German Christmas Market, but have a smooth instead of bumpy caramel, with deep and rich caramel flavour. They form beautiful, shiny clusters of cinnamon-spice crunchiness, that are great for snacking, gifting or even topping your morning oatmeal with.

Don’t be scared of making caramel! It just takes a few minutes of patience.

 

Why You Want to Make Them

Caramelized Spiced Almonds

Reminds you of German Christmas Markets

If you ever visited a German Christmas market and loved the smell of it, these are a big part of what wafted through the air. Often just made with cinnamon and sugar, caramelised, and formed into nubbly crusted almonds by stirring constantly and stopping at the just right point, they are at the heart of every visit.

But that bumpy crust is also the tricky part, as you need to catch the exact moment between sugar crystals and caramel, to achieve it. Also, I tend to find it not particularly kind to my teeth, as it’s a rather thick and hard layer. And more sugar than caramel flavour.
So I changed my technique a little, to still give you the spicy, Christmassy flavour and scent, but a shiny and dark caramel with a bit more flavour to it.

Great Gift

The smoother caramel has another advantage over the classic Christmas Market almonds: It keeps longer. Usually the Candied almonds you’d buy on the market are a sticky mess the day after. These Caramelized Spiced Almonds can be kept in an airtight container for over a week. Which makes them a great gift to make ahead. And aren’t homemade, edible gifts the best ones anyway?

Doesn’t take long

These Caramelized Spiced Almonds take just about 10-15 minutes to make and aren’t hard by any means. 4 ingredients (I count the spice mix as one. Plus you could, if you wanted, just use cinnamon) and a few minutes of melting sugar are all they take.

 

The Ingredients

Caramelized Spiced Almonds_Ingredients

Almonds – For the most traditional treat you’ll need almonds. Ideally with their skin, as the caramel will adhere better than to skinned ones. Plus they keep more of their nutritional value.
I know…it’s a treat, but still, we can mix the delicious with the good for us!

You could use all sorts of other nuts and seeds you enjoy here too. I love cashews or macadamias, but even sunflower or pumpkin seeds work amazingly well.

Sugar – I’ve used soft brown sugar here, for it’s higher molasses content, resulting in an even deeper caramel flavour. Caster sugar would be more traditional, as it melts faster due to the size of the grains.

Spices – I’m using a mix of cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ground ginger and nutmeg here. Balanced with a pinch of salt. And some vanilla extract. You could use just cinnamon, and they will still be utterly delicious.

And that’s already it.

 

The Process

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Essentially you add the sugar and spices with a bit of water to a pan, let them come to a boil, then add the almonds.

Caramelized Spiced Almonds_Process

Let it bubble away for a while, stirring now and then, until the water has evaporated, and the sugar crystallizes again. This is working as intended.

Caramelized Spiced Almonds_Process

Now leave it on slightly lower heat, until the sugar begins to melt again. Gently fold over the almonds. Then leave to melt further. Be patient and wait until all the sugar is liquidized and transforming into a dark and shiny caramel. Stir again, so all almonds are coated evenly.

Caramelized Spiced Almonds_Process

Once it has reached the desired darkness without burning, carefully pour the mass onto your parchment lined baking sheet and spread it out with a spatula. My ideal shape is mostly one layer of almonds with the occasional overlap. But arrange them however you enjoy them.

Caramelized Spiced Almonds_Process
Be quick and careful though, the caramel is very hot and firms up quickly.

Let them cool entirely until crunchy and hard. Then break into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week. The almonds will still be delicious after, but the caramel might start to soften a little and not look as shiny anymore.

Caramelized Spiced Almonds

Looking for more Christmas recipes?

Try my Cranberry Rosemary Roasted Chicken for a delicious and easy dinner. Or Sourdough Brioche Feuilltee, for an impressive breakfast that you can prepare ahead.

Please Comment

Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
What other recipes would you like to see?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

Caramelized Spiced Almonds

Caramelized Spiced Almonds

Caramelized Spiced Almonds taste like German Christmas Market, but have a smooth instead of bumpy caramel, with deep and rich caramel flavour. They form beautiful, shiny clusters of cinnamon-spice crunchiness, that are great for snacking, gifting or even topping your morning oatmeal with. Don’t be scared of making caramel! It just takes a few minutes of patience.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Course Dessert, Ingredient, Snack
Cuisine German
Servings 10
Calories 160 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp each ground allspice nutmeg, ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 ¼ cup raw almonds

Instructions
 

Prepare Baking Sheet:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Create Caramel Mixture:

  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, combine the soft brown sugar, water, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground clove, and a pinch of salt.

Bring to a Boil:

  • Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Allow it to bubble for a few minutes until the water has mostly evaporated, and the sugar starts to crystallize.

Add Almonds:

  • Gently stir in the raw almonds, ensuring they are well-coated with the crystallized sugar mixture.

Continue Cooking:

  • Let the almonds and sugar mixture cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. The sugar will re-melt and caramelize, creating a dark and shiny coating on the almonds. Be patient during this process.

Spread on Baking Sheet:

  • Once the caramel has reached the desired darkness without burning, quickly and carefully pour the almond mixture onto the prepared parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a spatula to spread it out, arranging the almonds into a mostly single layer with occasional overlaps.

Cool Completely:

  • Allow the caramelized almonds to cool completely on the baking sheet. The caramel will harden, resulting in a crunchy texture.

Break into Pieces:

  • Once fully cooled and hardened, break the caramelized almond mass into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Be cautious, as the caramel will be very hot.

Notes

Store:
Store the caramelized spiced almonds in an airtight container for up to a week. While the almonds will remain delicious, note that the caramel may soften slightly and lose its shine over time. Enjoy your homemade treat!
10 portions
Calories: Approximately 160 calories
Protein: Approximately 4 grams
Carbohydrates: Approximately 18 grams
Fat: Approximately 9 grams
Fiber: Approximately 2 grams
Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on specific brands and variations in ingredient measurements.

Nutrition

Calories: 160kcal
Nutrition Facts
Caramelized Spiced Almonds
Amount per Serving
Calories
160
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Easy, High Fibre, Protein, vegan
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