The Christmas Season isn’t over in my house yet! I love the time between Christmas and New Years because the family is still together but a lot of the hustle and bustle has died down so there is more time to play games, cook, eat, and drink! My 4 favorite things to do!
Yesterday, my mom and I whipped up a batch of these Iced Almonds. My mom has been making these during the holidays pretty much since I can remember – they are definitely a holiday staple in our house. The main problem with these little guys is that they are extremely addictive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! But I figure, you are eating almonds. Almonds are healthy. So it is only logical that these gems are healthy, right? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Let’s get started. You only need 4 ingredients for these candies and they are really easy to make, but they require one special secret ingredient: PATIENCE. You can’t rush these almonds along, but trust me. It is worth it! All you do to start is combine in a non-stick skillet 2 Cups of plain almonds, 1 Cup of sugar, and 4 Tablespoons of butter. Put the skillet over MEDIUM LOW heat and stir to combine. Continue heating over medium low until the butter melts and the sugar starts to turn brown, like this-
My mom says these are called “Iced Almonds” because when you are cooking them it looks like the almonds are in snow. So, if your almonds look like they are in a wintery wonderland, you are on the right track. Continue cooking over medium low (seriously, resist the urge to turn up that heat!) until the sugar starts to clump together and begins to liquify. Like this-
Now is the point in the iced almond process when I really start to get impatient. By now you have been smelling these toasty, buttery, sugary almonds for about 15 minutes and you start to think, “Come on already! Ok, all I need to do is just turn up the heat and they will melt faster so I can get these delicious morsels in my belly!” But don’t! I promise it is about to get so good.
Ahhhh, there it is. Once the sugar becomes liquid and the almonds are swimming in their delicious carmel colored pool it is time to add the last ingredient: 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Be careful because adding the vanilla to the hot candy will cause it to splatter, so stand back!
Now you are ready to spoon the almonds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The best way to do this is just to use two teaspoons to slip the almonds on to the parchment. If you are thinking you can just use one spoon and your finger and you wouldn’t get burned by the hot buttery sugar, you would be wrong. Trust me.
Keep your almond mixture on the stove on low heat but try and work quickly so it doesn’t have time to harden. I try to spoon about 3-6 almonds per piece of candy. Oh shoot, I lied. You do need one more ingredient. Arguably the most important ingredient: Salt. While the almonds are still warm sprinkle with salt (I like sea salt but you can use table salt too). Careful, the almonds harden quickly so you have to make sure to sprinkle them soon after they are out of the pan.
And that’s it! They are crunchy, salty, sweet, and as I said, oh so addictive! An added bonus is, if your carmel flows in a funny shape you can make candy comics like my mother did here:)
2 Cups Whole Almonds
1 Cup Sugar
4 T butter
1 t vanilla
Sea salt or Table Salt
1. Combine almonds, butter, and sugar in a non stick skillet.
2. Stir frequently over medium heat until almonds are toasted and sugar is liquified. Be patient!
3. Add vanilla. Stand back, it will splatter!
4. Drop clusters onto parchment paper and sprinkle quickly with salt. Let cool.