Everyone loves candied almonds. These sweet, crunchy nuts are basically the perfect candy. They're delicious on their own, but even better when you dip them in chocolate, chop them up and add them to truffles or fudge, or use them in homemade candy bars.
Beyond candy making, candied almonds are also great on cakes, cupcakes, tarts, or pies. They make wonderful holiday gifts, and you can also use them in savory salads to add a sweet crunch and delightful nutty flavor. Basically, they're the best and you should have a jar of them on hand at any given time.
Are you convinced yet? You can even add flavorings to the almonds to suit your tastes! Try adding extracts, citrus zest, or even rose water or orange blossom water for an exotic variation. Coconut candied almonds, orange candied almonds, or even something like buttered rum candied almonds would all be wonderful.
- 1/2 cup water
- 7 ounces (1 cup) sugar (granulated)
- 2 cups whole almonds (preferably raw)
- Cover a cookie sheet with a silicone mat, or line it with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set the baking sheet aside for a moment.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar, and place the pan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once the sugar syrup is boiling, add the almonds and reduce the heat to medium. Stir frequently until the sugar crystallizes around the almonds--this should take about 5 to 8 minutes.
- When the sugar crystallizes, it will probably become difficult to stir, but continue stirring, and eventually, the sugar will start to re-melt. It will caramelize, turn a deep golden brown color, and the liquid caramel will coat the almonds.
- Once the sugar is caramelized and completely liquid, pour the almonds out onto the prepared baking sheet. Use a fork to separate the nuts while the sugar is still liquid.
- Let the almonds set at room temperature until they're cool and hard. Once the almonds are set, break them apart and serve!
These delicious candied almonds can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week, but after a few days, they may start to get a bit sticky. If you're going to use them in pastry decoration, add them at the last minute, since the moisture from frosting or other elements might cause the nuts to get sticky and the caramel coating to liquefy.