Gebrannte Mandeln (“Burnt” Almonds)
The amazing team, Chris and Milena, of Craft Beering invited me (and others; please see the great assortment of recipes at the end of this post) to contribute to their 2nd annual Oktoberfest Bash and of course I said “yes!” There are so many great eats during the fest, it was difficult to choose so I had to go with something sweet (below) and something savory (please see other recipe post on my blog for Bavarian Bacon and Beer Salad recipe HERE).
These addictive, sweet and crunchy nuts are a traditional Christmas time German staple at markets and festivals. They are equally as enjoyable year-round, including Oktoberfest with some nice Märzen beer if I may recommend. Speaking of beer, we’re GIVING AWAY a CASE of Prost Brewing’s Oktoberfest bottles to one lucky winner! I was fortunate enough to visit Prost earlier this year (Colorado) and can personally attest they put out some of the most traditional and best German brews out there. PLEASE SEE DETAILS AT THE END OF THIS POST.
While it would be outstanding, you don’t have to travel to Munich to enjoy these tasty nuggets. All you need is about 30 minutes and five simple ingredients to whip up a batch of German Candied Almonds (aka “Burnt” Almonds) in your own home. Two areas of caution before you begin though: 1.) The intoxicating aroma will have neighbors from blocks away knocking on your door, 2.) Do NOT plan on doing anything else while making the nuts. They require your undivided attention and they are worth it. Ready. Set. Let’s go!
- 3 cups raw almonds (approx 1lb if buying from bulk)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon (I like mine really spicy; you can use 1 tbsp if you please)
- Optional: 1/2 tsp extra fine granulated Himalayan Sea Salt for finishing.
Pour water, sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon into a deep stainless skill or copper SKILLET (NOT A POT and no non-stick; 10″ or 12″ size works well). Using a large wooden spoon, stir all ingredients together over medium high heat until small bubbles begin to form across the top.
When the melted sugar blend looks like the photo above, carefully add the almonds. Sugar is HOT! Coat nuts evenly and stir often for 5 minutes.
After about 5 minutes, you should notice the water has evaporated and a syrup has begun to form. This is when you REALLY don’t want to look away! Let that phone ring! Ignore the barking dog! Stir constantly for an additional 2 minutes, being sure to scrape the side of the skillet (this is why I prefer using one with rounded sides).
When the nuts start to look like the ones in the photo above, you are ALMOST done and it will happen quickly. Lower heat to medium and keep stirring until the sugar almost begins to crystallize and nuts are fully coated. Remove immediately and spread on a large sheet pan covered with parchment or a Silpat. Caution: the nuts will still be really hot. Using an additional wooden spoon, spread and separate nuts forming a single layer (separate any almonds that are stuck together). Let cool for about 5 minutes and enjoy warm or serve at room temperature.
Recipe notes: you can add or substitute other types of nuts if you’d like. I made a sample batch using Pumpkin Pie Spice in lieu of cinnamon and I think they make a great fall American-inspired treat.
Candied Almonds also make great gifts and are fun to share. Fill cellophane bags and tie with ribbon or use the more traditional KinderCones (Zuckertüte) as shown below. There are several tutorials on how to make your own (e.g., YouTube) or you can purchase them (e.g., AMAZON). Remember to always have fun “in the kitchen!”
PLEASE SEE THESE OTHER AMAZING OKTOBERFEST BASH RECIPES:
- Aromatic Currywurst by What to Cook Today
- Hot Cheese Dip with Onions and Gruyere by Cooks With Cocktails
- Bratkartoffein (German-Style Pan Fried Potatoes with Bacon by Ciao Chow Bambina
- Bratwurst Burger by Beyond the Bayou
- German Pan Fried Trout by Burrata and Bubbles
- Schnitzel Platter by Craft Beering
- Cinnamon Streusel Muffins with Hefeweizen Drizzle by Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats
- Danube Waves Cake by The Itsy Bitsy Kitchen
- Bavarian Cream Donuts by Pies and Tacos
Just when you think things could not be any better, Prost Brewing is generously sponsoring a GIVEAWAY for a CASE of their tasty Oktoberfest Märzen Full Seasonal Lager! Prost Brewing is one of the very best German craft breweries in the States. Prost to Prost!
Contest open to residents of the 48 contiguous states only. Must be 21+ years old to enter. Giveaway runs from now until Thursday, Sept 27 at midnight EST. A winner will be selected and announced Sept 28 and the beer will be shipped directly from Prost. You can enter UP TO 10 times by liking the Facebook page or following the Instagram page of each contributor, as well as one extra for following Prost brewing! Good luck! ENTER HERE