BURNT SUGAR ALMONDS

Please Stand to Attention . . .and Listen!

You simply must make these nuts.

I shouldn’t have.

I tried really hard to resist making them.

The Devil made me do it.

 

 You know that heavenly, divine, scrumptious, cinnamony smell that radiates the halls of Candy shops & local Malls?

Well . . . These are Those!!

This recipe comes from a sweet Lady, by the Name of Birget Kerr. Her heritage is German, which happens to be my Father in Laws birth place as well.  Hense the name Warnke.  This was also her favorite smell walking around the tiny villages of Germany.  I’ve make these nuts every year, trying different recipes each time, but never found one that was better than those we can find in our mall in Idaho.  I HAVE NOW FOUND IT!  Trust me . . . run to your kitchen and make these nuts.  They are simply perfect.  I believe that it is because of the addition of the second part of the sugar. The only thing I did differently, is add a whopping Tablespoon of Vanilla instead of 1 teaspoon.  I also doubled the recipe, which brought it up to two tablespoons. You could use pecans, hazelnuts or just about any raw nut you like. Warning: Yummy and very addictive.

Note:  Read the Notes below before beginning.

 

  BURNT SUGAR ALMONDS

~ Gebrannte Mandeln~

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cups Water, Plus 2 Tablespoons
  • 1-⅓ cup Sugar, Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, Ground
  • 2 cups Raw Almonds
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Notes before beginning: Make sure that you DO NOT let the first sugar mixture evaporate until it’s dry.  You don’t want it soupy, but rather a very thick syrup that is adhering to the nuts.  This is when you will add your second addition of sugar (1/3 cup).  If your mixture does become too dry, and all the sugar has dried up – don’t throw everything away.  It’s o.k.!  Just add a couple tablespoons of warm water, and stir until you have a bit of shine, but also some lumps beginning to form.

I also added 1 tablespoon of Vanilla per batch, but that is up to you.

Use a heavy saucepan (NOT the nonstick kind) and a wooden spoon.

First add the water, 1 cup of sugar and the cinnamon and stir. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. Add the almonds to the mix, raise the temperature to high heat and stir CONSTANTLY until the water is boiled away.

The sugar will dry out a little but start to stick to the almonds. Keep stirring them around, so that the almonds don’t burn on the bottom of the pan.

Turn the heat under the pan to medium-low, to keep the sugar from browning too fast. Keep stirring until the almonds start having an even shiny coat.

Birgit Kerr says:   Don’t be distracted by the heavenly aroma that is enveloping your kitchen—you need your full concentration on the task!

Now dump in the rest of your sugar. Keep stirring, and add your vanilla. At this point, I like to mention that if you have vanilla sugar or a powdered type of vanilla flavoring, do feel free to use that over the liquid kind. It tends to work better. If you do, mix it with the 1/3 of a cup of sugar you are using for the second lot of sugar.

At this point, there might be quite some noise ensuing from your pan. Some crackling and popping, but hopefully no snapping. It depends on how fresh your almonds were. Really fresh almonds will make a popping noise and the coat may start to crack. That’s the water in the almonds escaping. If the almonds are older, there won’t be as much of that!

Keep stirring until the almonds are fairly shiny, but still a bit lumpy. You don’t want them completely smooth. The best ones are the ones that are shiny in some areas with some delicious lumps of cinnamon sugar on other parts of the almond.

As soon as you see that happening, take them off the heat and transfer the almonds to a sheet of parchment paper. Spread them apart as much as you can, but don’t worry about some of them sticking together initially. BE CAREFUL, however. These are extremely hot, so only use a spoon. These babies can really burn you!

While they are cooling down, keep on breaking them apart with your spoon(s) until they are all separated. Fair warning: these are totally divine when they are still ever-so-slightly warm. There, you’ve been warned!

Once they are cooled, hide them in a dry, closed container. Theoretically, they keep for several weeks.

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  • Katrina - December 8, 2010 - 6:48 pm

    These look amazing! Could you make these using walnuts?ReplyCancel

  • ingrid - December 8, 2010 - 8:02 pm

    AWESOME! I just made these almonds and hour or so ago and they’re more than half way gone! I can’t wait to try pecans instead of almonds. Thanks, Jonna.
    ~ingridReplyCancel

  • Pattyann - December 8, 2010 - 8:27 pm

    We make these, we love them. Enough said!! (try them chopped on a salad with lettuce, spinach, fresh pears and poppy seed dressing. Total Heaven!)ReplyCancel

  • Berta - December 8, 2010 - 11:16 pm

    Okay, you got me on this one!!!!! My family is going to love ME (really you) for this one!!!! THANKS FOR SHARING. I can smell them now. You’re the BEST!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - December 10, 2010 - 6:09 pm

    Ok, HELP. I made these tonight and I messed them up terribly but not sure what I did wrong. I am thinking I did not cook them long enough – I ended up with a hard brittle surrounding the almonds. Any tip on how long it takes to cook them before you add the second sugar?

    By the way, I love your blog and all your recipes are fabulous. I don’t usually mess up so this has me perplexed!ReplyCancel

  • jenny lunsford - December 16, 2010 - 11:28 am

    Oh, I’m sooo excited you posted this! I didn’t want to weed through all of the recipes for these bad boys! 🙂 I believe these will be the best! Super excited to make! Oh, my mouth is watering! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • jessica - December 31, 2010 - 7:55 am

    Oh, these sound amazing. Have to try them!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Meg's Everyday Indulgence - August 25, 2011 - 8:05 am

    Just made these and blogged about them. They were so yummy! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe! http://megseverydayindulgence.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/burnt-sugar-almonds/ReplyCancel

  • Laura - September 10, 2011 - 11:45 am

    Just made two batches of these, definitly easy and delicious. Mine came out like the picture and the coating is hard and sugary. Not having had the original I assume they are “right” because they are good!
    The second batch I added a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne too… didn’t even taste it… next time I’l add more… I love spicey sugary things!
    Thanks for the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Michel - December 24, 2012 - 11:28 am

    I made your cinnamon sugar pecans and they were delicious, so I wanted to try these as well. This may seem like a silly question, but I don’t see when to add the cinnamon? Is it at the same time as the vanilla?ReplyCancel

  • Michel - December 24, 2012 - 11:29 am

    AH nvm, I finally saw it. Idk how I read over that so many times! Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Michel - December 26, 2012 - 1:11 pm

    I see some people say this recipe is easy, but I on the other had a hard time with it. I tried to make it twice. The first time my second batch of sugar dried up and stuck to the pan. I took them off bc I didn’t want anything to burn and I was too flustered in the moment to remember to add the water. They were still good but I had to try to redeem myself. The second batch I was able to mix the second batch in. The sugar mixture started to clump so I took it off but maybe too soon bc mine didn’t have the dark “burnt” look yours did. Any ideas on how long for each cooking session? I think that might me besides going by sight/pics. Thanks in advance.ReplyCancel

    • Get Off Your Butt and BAKE! - December 26, 2012 - 4:09 pm

      Hi Michel,

      Make sure that you DO NOT let the first sugar mixture evaporate until it’s dry. You don’t want it soupy, but rather a very thick syrup that is adhering to the nuts. This is when you will add your second addition of sugar (1/3 cup). If your mixture does become too dry, and all the sugar has dried up – don’t throw everything away. It’s o.k.! Just add a couple tablespoons of warm water, and stir until you have a bit of shine, but also some lumps beginning to form.

      I also added 1 tablespoon of Vanilla per batch, but that is up to you.

      Use a heavy saucepan (NOT the nonstick kind) and a wooden spoon.

      Hopefully this helps Michel.

      For an ultra easy recipe, try the Cinnamon Sugar Pecans recipe. You can use almonds as well!

      JonnaReplyCancel

      • Michel - December 14, 2015 - 9:43 pm

        I attempted to make these again and although it went much better this year in regards to not having the drying out issue, I appear to still have the issue of not being able to get them to have the dark “burnt” look. I take them off when the liquid appears gone and the sugar is clumping. Am I not cooking them long enough though? They look clumpy but w a white sugar tinge. They are still delicious and I’m sure everyone will eat them up, but figured I’d ask again for any tips that aren’t in the post! I will be making the Cinnamon Sugar Pecans closer to Christmas! Thanks in advance!ReplyCancel

        • Get Off Your Butt and BAKE - December 29, 2015 - 9:47 am

          Hi Michel,
          I do hope these turned out for you. If you stir them too much, you lose the sugar that clings to the almonds.
          I take them off the heat when the syrup has turned to a deep caramel color, and they begin to get a sugary look, as
          they will continue to cook slightly off the heat. As long as the syrup/sugar clumps around the nuts then they will still be delicious!

          JonnaReplyCancel