Sugared almonds are a delicious, novel way to enjoy almonds~one of the healthiest nuts. Although a sugar coating certainly isn’t healthy, the almonds that lie beneath are an excellent source of omega 3’s.
Sugared almonds are often sold at stand alone carts in malls, but for a pretty penny. Served in paper cones, a small handful costs close to $5.00. Sugared almonds can be made at home for far less, especially when almonds are on sale.
Emerald almonds were BOGO at Publix a few weeks ago, so I stocked up. For less than $5.00, I made three cups of sugared almonds that we can grab for an occasional snack, toss into popcorn, or use in homemade trail mix.
Since this recipe uses natural, raw almonds, the nuts are soft and slightly chewy on the inside. The sugary coating hardens as the nuts cool, after which they become slightly crunchy on the outside. It does take the almonds several hours to harden completely, so it is best to make these ahead. They keep well in an airtight container or well wrapped in the freezer.
These nuts remind me of Jordan almonds, the lovely pastel coated almonds often served at weddings. Although these aren’t as pretty and don’t have a hard shell, the texture and flavor are very similar. For at home snacking or for teacher treats, these are a wonderful and budget savvy option.
If you don’t have a candy thermometer, no worries. Simply add the nuts to the syrup soon after it begins to boil, then stir until all water is gone and you are left with completely dry, sugar coated pieces. This takes roughly 20 minutes, and you’ll need to stir the whole time.
I didn’t want to stand over the syrup for quite as long, so I used a candy thermometer and let the syrup boil to soft ball stage. I used this Polder candy/deep fry thermometer, which is less than $10.00 and can be thrown into the dishwasher. After the syrup reached soft ball, I added the almonds and stirred until they were completely dry and sugary (about 8 minutes).