With Easter just around the corner, it’s time you get some secret intel on holiday tricks that are very cool to have up your sleeve. A proud member of that category is the recipe for candied almonds. Dead simple (only two ingredients if we don’t count water), very addictive (try to have just one) and a great edible gift (I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like them).
So, where’s the catch? If you follow the instructions carefully, there’s none.
In Dubrovnik, candied almonds are called bruštulani mjenduli and they are a typical edible souvenir you might bring back from your trip to the south of Croatia. They are a widespread Dalmatian sweet treat and as they are so simple to make and easy to store, they can be found in all the food souvenir shops. However, it’s much cheaper to make your own and if you add a bit of vanilla (steer clear of the liquid extract, use vanilla sugar – its quality may be inferior, but it won’t interfere with the chemistry involved in the caramelization process), it’s also much better.
Before getting it right thanks to the instructions of an ex neighbor, I’d messed up my candied almonds several times. Why? Because I was always too impatient and I’d think that they were done when in fact they weren’t. So don’t take my advice lightly and follow the recipe to a t.
Do not – I repeat – do not – double the ingredients if you’re making candied almonds in a regular size pot (diameter cca 20 cm). Make them in several batches instead. If there’s too much sugar and almonds in the pot, they don’t get coated properly.
- 100 g almonds
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
- 1 tablespoon water.
- Put all the ingredients in a pot over medium to high heat.
- The sugar will start to form lumps. Keep stirring.
- Then it will start to melt. And again, keep stirring. This is good for the biceps too.
- Stirring constantly, wait for the sugar to start turning lighter in color again (this may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s paramount to keep stirring) and lumpier. At the same time, the almonds will begin to crackle. Remove from the fire, place on a heatproof surface and turn the almonds out onto a plate. Let them cool (they will be extremely hot so resist the urge to try them immediately.)
Have you ever tried making candied almonds? Will you be giving out home-made gifts this Easter? Which ones? Let me know in the comments.