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