My parents’ neighbor Katte makes some really good, candied almonds. They are nice and shiny, covered in a thin layer of sugar, and it is completely impossible to stop eating them once you have started. In Denmark, candied almonds is mainly eaten throughout December, and as Katte mentions in the video below, they also make a really nice host/hostess gift during the holiday season. Put them in a nice jar, and decorate with a bow, and you have a gift that every host would love to receive. Candied almonds are a popular Christmas treat, but they can be enjoyed all year round, when you want to add something sweet and crunchy. Sprinkle the almonds over a nice dessert, or over a salad, or add them to your favorite granola, for an extra-indulgent breakfast.
Recipe Comments – Sanne: You won’t see the almond rubbing included as a step in most US recipes, but if you ask around among the grandma generation in Denmark, you will learn that this is how it is done (my mom also does it). Apparently, the purpose of the rubbing is to remove any dust or particles, and thus make it easier for the melted sugar to stick to the almonds.
Recipe and notes by my parents’ neighbor Katte
I trained as a smørrebrøds maker in 1977, and I also worked for half a year in a bakery. Then I got a job at Ågård Efterskole (a kind of boarding school in Denmark), where I was the kitchen manager for 34 years. At Ågård, the students had stints in the kitchen, one week at a time, for 6 hours a day, and I was teaching them practical kitchen skills as well as how to cook dinner. I had some amazing years at Ågård, but now I am enjoying my retirement, and I am only cooking for my husband and my family.
I prefer to cook the candied almonds in a Dutch oven, but you can use any kind of medium-size pot. You can also make the almonds in a frying pan, but then you have to be more careful, when you stir, so the almonds stay in the pan.
There are two steps in the process: First, the water evaporates and the almonds get covered in a white, matte, powdery layer. As you continue to heat up the almonds, this layer becomes nice, glossy, and transparent.
Remember to stir constantly, so that the almonds do not get burned.
Also, be careful not to get burned yourself on the hot, melted sugar. Only touch the almonds after they have been allowed to cool and set.
If you have a range hood installed, remember to switch it on, so the smoke alarm does not go off:)