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Burnt Sugar Almonds (Gebrannte Mandeln)

Vanilla and cinnamon scented candied almonds. A traditional German treat perfect for the holidays!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Servings: 3 cups
Author: Tricia


  • 1 cup granulated sugar plus ⅓ cup, added separately
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups raw almonds (fresh are best if you can get them)


  • In a small bowl combine ⅓ cup of granulated sugar with the vanilla extract. Stir until well blended and set aside.
  • Line a large baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • IMPORTANT: Use a large heavy bottom saucepan to make these almonds and stir with a wooden spoon. Do not use a nonstick pan.
  • Pour the water, 1 cup of the sugar and the cinnamon to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, add the almonds.
  • Increase the heat to HIGH and stir the almonds constantly until the water is almost completely gone. The sugar will dry out and start to stick to the almonds. Keep stirring!
  • Once the water is evaporated and the sugar is dried out - REDUCE the heat to medium-low. This all happens pretty fast so be ready. Keep stirring on the lower heat until all the almonds have an even shiny candy coating.
  • IMMEDIATELY dump in the remaining ⅓ cup of sugar mixed with the vanilla. Keep stirring!
  • The fresh almonds will start to pop as they cook and crack, this is normal. Some of the sugar will start to melt and make the almond shiny. Keep stirring until all the almonds are pretty shiny, but still a bit lumpy. You don’t want them smooth. The best almonds are the ones that are a little shiny and still lumpy.
  • REMOVE from the heat and carefully spread the almonds on the parchment paper. Break them apart as much as you can as they cool. BE CAREFUL as they are very hot. Don’t use your fingers.
  • It’s very hard not to start eating them because the aroma is completely intoxicating. But you need to wait until they cool or you’ll burn your mouth! Slightly warm is good - just be careful.
  • Once cooled completely store in an airtight container. The almonds will keep for 2 weeks and are terrific for shipping and sharing.


Recipe adapted form Birgit Kerr as posted on Tasty Kitchen