Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Burnt Sugar Almonds - Gebrannte Mandeln


So called “Burnt Sugar Almonds" are called "Gebrannte Mandeln" in German and are most often purchased at Christmas Markets around here. Burnt sugar almonds are caramelized sugar-coated almonds, flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. They are usually cooked fresh in copper kettles right in front of you at the market. If you are lucky, you can buy them still warm. They become harder, like brittle, when completely cool but no less delicious and tempting. Served in small paper cones or sold in cellophane bags, Burnt Sugar Almonds are a treat you should not pass up if you see them being sold at a Christmas market.
"Gebrannte Mandeln“ werden ja bekanntlich am häufigsten auf Weihnachtsmärkte verkauft. Gebrannte Mandeln sind mit karamellisiertem Zucker beschichtete Mandeln, gewürzt mit Zimt und Vanille. Sie werden in der Regel in einem offenen Kupferkessel direkt vor dir auf den Märkten frisch zubereitet. Wenn man Glück hat, sind sie noch warm, wenn man sie kauft. Einmal abgekühlt, bleiben sie lecker, werden aber recht hart. Gebrannte Mandeln werden entweder in kleinen Papiertüten oder in Cellophan-Beuteln verkauft. Frisch Gebrannten Mandeln kann man selten widerstehen, wenn man sie auf einem Markt sieht. Und ihren Duft riecht.




On the picture above, you see the Burnt Sugar Almonds on the left and Gingerbread Biscotti (my recipe is in the previous post here) on the right.

If there is no Christmas market that you can visit to buy these almonds at, you can recreate these tasty treats at home if you are so inclined. The ingredient list is short and sweet and, honestly, the Burnt Sugar Almonds are quite simple to make, all you need are a few pantry items and about 20 minutes of time.


Burnt Sugar Almonds

Ingredients for the Almonds
  • 200 grams raw, whole almonds
  • 200 grams white sugar 
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean or 3 tsps. pure (homemade) vanilla sugar
  • 125 ml water
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon (“Ceylon” cinnamon from Sri Lanka)

Special Equipment needed
  • a heavy pot NOT a non-stick pan.
  • a wooden spoon
  • a baking sheet lines with parchment paper

Preparation of the Almonds
  1. Scrape the inside of the vanilla bean and add it to the sugar. Mix it well. Set aside. (Instead of discarding the vanilla bean, you can always put the rest of the vanilla bean in with your vanilla sugar to boost its aroma.) OR: Use 3 tsps. pure vanilla sugar
  2. Add the sugar, salt, water and cinnamon into the heavy saucepan and set it over medium heat. Stir to mix, then bring it to a boil before adding the almonds.
  3. Add the almonds to the pan after the sugar water comes to a boil. Stir over high heat, to boil the water away.
  4. The sugar will dry out after a few minutes and the almonds will take on a grey-brown tinge. Keep stirring, so that the almonds do not burn on the bottom of the pan.
  5. Turn the heat under the pan to medium, to keep the sugar from browning too fast and burning. At this stage, the sugar heats up and starts to melt. It is already brown from the cinnamon, so it is hard to see the color change. Just keep stirring, so that the almonds become evenly browned and about half of the sugar is melted and gives the almonds a shiny coat. They will stick together but you will separate them later. When they are shiny, but not burnt (this takes careful watching and decisiveness) remove from heat.
  6. Place the Burnt Sugar Almonds on a parchment lined baking sheet and using two spoons, separate the almonds if they stick too much together. Either let them cool completely or serve them while warm.
Auf dem Photo sieht man links die Gebrannten Mandeln und rechts die Lebkuchen Biscotti (mein Rezept dafür findet man hier).

Allerdings kann diese Leckerei auch zu Hause hergestellt werden, falls gerade kein Weihnachtsmarkt in der Nähe stattfindet. Die Zutatenliste ist kurz und die Gebrannten Mandeln sind einfach herzustellen. Alles, was man braucht, sind ein paar Zutaten, die man sicherlich vorrätig hat und etwa 20 bis Minuten Zeit.


Gebrannte Mandeln

Zutaten für die Mandeln
  • 200 Gramm rohe, ganze Mandeln 
  • 200 g weißer Zucker 
  • eine Prise feines Meer Salz 
  • 1/2 Vanilleschote oder 3 TL Bourbon (oder selbstgemachter) Vanillezucker 
  • 125 ml Wasser 
  • 1 EL Zimt ("Ceylon" Zimt aus Sri Lanka) 

Außerden benötigt man
  • einen schweren Topf, NICHT Antihaft
  • einen Holzlöffel 
  • ein Backblech mit Backpapier ausgelegt

Zubereitung der Mandeln
  1. Das Vanillemark aus der Vanilleschote kratzen und mit dem Zucker mischen. Beiseite stellen (man kann den Rest der Vanilleschote in ein Glas mit Zucker geben, damit diese ihr Vanillearoma an den Zucker abgibt) ODER: Man nimmt 3 TL Bourbon Vanillezucker.
  2. Zucker, Salz, Wasser und Zimt in einem schweren Topf geben. Mit dem Holzlöffel rühren und auf mittlerer Hitze zum Kochen bringen, bevor man die Mandeln hinzufügt.
  3. Die Mandeln vorsichtig in die kochende Zucker-Wassermischung geben. Bei starker Hitze kochen und rühren, bis das Wasser verkocht ist. Der Zucker wird nach einigen Minuten trocken sein und die Mandeln werden grau-bräunlich aussehen. Weiter rühren, damit die Mandeln nicht am Topfboden anbrennen. 
  4. Auf mittlere Hitze herunterschalten damit der Zucker nicht allzu schnell braun wird oder anbrennt. Wenn man stetig weiter rührt, erwärmt sich der trockene Zucker wieder und beginnt zu schmelzen. Da er wegen der Zugabe von Zimt schon bräunlich ist, kann es ein wenig schwierig sein zu sehen, wann er zu braun wird. Deswegen muss man die Mandeln auf jeden Fall rühren und nochmals rühren, damit sie gleichmäßig gebräunt werden und der Zucker gerade so viel schmilzt, dass die Mandeln glänzend werden. 
  5. Die fertigen Gebrannten Mandeln aus dem Topf auf ein mit Backpapier ausgekleidetes Backblech geben und vorsichtig trennen (falls sie zu sehr zusammen kleben). Erkalten lassen oder noch warm genießen.



These Burnt Sugar Almonds certainly evoke memories of my childhood and Christmastime...

They will make delicious gifts and keep well. If you plan on giving them as gifty, you can best place them in small cookie tins or small festive cellophane bags.

If you do not enjoy eating almonds, you can make this recipe using nuts of your choice. I usually make a batch with hazelnuts and I have also successfully made this recipe with walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts or even sunflower seeds.
Die Gebrannten Mandeln erwecken sicherlich Erinnerungen an meine Kindheit und die Weihnachtszeit...

Die Mandeln eignen sich wunderbar als Geschenke – am besten in festliche Cellophan-Beutel oder kleine Keksdosen verpackt. 

Wenn man nicht so gerne Mandeln isst, kann man dieses Rezept auch mit anderen Nüssen zubereiten. Ich nehme auch gerne Wallnüsse, Haselnüsse, Erdnüsse oder sogar Sonnenblumenkerne.



29 comments:

  1. What a lovely "vintage" toys collection: the atmosphere in the pictures is fantastic.
    When I saw your wonderful pictures and recipe I startet to giggle as last week I've bought the almonds and was looking for the right moment to prepare them. Now I am really really thinking that you can read my mind.
    You are so right, Andrea,: a "non-stick pan" shouldn't really be used: the first time I made them (some years ago) I've totally scratched my pan: lesson learned!
    Have a wonderful Xmas Time
    Liebe Grüsse
    Carola

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    1. Dear Carola, what a kind and thoughtful comment - thanks so much! Gebrannte Mandeln are part of the Christmas time tradition at our house - just would be Christmas without them. And they are in fact very easy to make and totally and utterly addictive.
      Whishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas season! What out, though, there are more traditional Christmas treats to come!
      Und ganz liebe und herzliche Grüße in die Schweiz!

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  2. Wow Andrea, who would have know these were so easy to make? I've had them at markets and they're so good. I love your depiction of Christmas in the past through your lovely photos. I feel like I've been to a Weihnachtsmärkte right here in my own living room :)

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    1. Chris, don´t you just want to take a stroll at one of our many Weihnachtsmärkte...after writing this post, I felt the sudden urge to run off into the kitchen and make some more of these wonderful almonds - thank goodness, my raw almond jar is always filled at to the rim at this time of year!
      Thanks so much for your fabulous comment!

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  3. Ganz toll! I remember these so well from the Weihnachtsmarkt in Heidelberg. And my friends hung little cones of them on their tree, far away from the real candles! I still have my candle holders I bought in Germany for the tree, although in Arizona we can't get a tree fresh enough to use the candles, so we use them on a wrought iron tree... I will have to send you a photo on Facebook! ~ David

    P.S. - I love your little village and the other toys!

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    1. Dear David, those vintage toys - I just think they go so well with our present mood/season. I absolutely adore the pictures that you sent to my via FB of your wrought iron tree with all your lovely ornaments and candle holders and real candles - quite a sight. Now that the storm seems to have subsided, I will decorate my little outside tree with vintage cookie cutters, as I always do. We will put our fresh tree in our living room only on Christmas Eve, December 24th.
      Thank you so much for your nice comment, dear friend!

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  4. Die Deko mit dem alten Spielzeug ist soooo stimmungsvoll! Die Puppe ist wunderschön. Was haben wir frueher alles aus den "Stricklieselwuerstchen" gemacht.... Ich habe gestern auch ganze Mandeln gekauft, musste aber heute erst meine Rum-Zimt-Trueffel drehen... Der Duft im Haus ist doch einfach nur betörend, nicht wahr? Einen schoenen zweiten Advent, liebe Andrea!

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    1. Liebe Wally, Rum-Zimt-Trüffel hören sich wunderbar an - gerade jetzt wo es doch so kalt geworden ist hier und der gute "Xaver" über uns hinweggefegt ist. Herzlichen Dank für deinen wunderbaren Kommentar and auch euch einen schönen Nikolaustag heute und am Sonntag einen besinnlichen zweiten Advent!

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  5. Andrea - these look wonderful. When I was younger, there used to be a store that sold "burnt peanuts" and they were always a favorite treat as a child. I haven't had them in 30 years, so this brings back some lovely memories of persuading my father to pick up a bag of them for me :-)

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    1. Cher, ah, those sweet childhood treats - they can evoke the fondest of memories. I am just thankful I found a way to make these at home because they can be rather pricey when you buy loads of them for the kids at the Christmas market! Besides, who does not enjoy homemade stuff?1 Thank you for the nice comment!

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  6. Andrea,
    Stunning, Delicious presentation. You continually thrill me, dear. xx LOVE THE doll!

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    1. Kim, I am just glad that I am not the only one that likes the vintage porcelain doll with her red dress in the picture - thank you for the nice comment, dear friend!

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  7. we LOVE almonds - so this a perfect Christmas treat for us! delicious - my mouth is watering!
    Mary x

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    1. Mary, this is indeed a wonderful seasonal treat that we all enjoy quite a bit. Thanks for stopping by, Mary!

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  8. I have purchased these before at European holiday markets. You're right. They are delicious. Hazelnuts. That's a thought.

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    1. Mary, then you know what I mean when I say that these are addictive!

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  9. Hi Andrea! It looks like everyone's home is filled with baked goods and holiday treats. These burnt sugara almonds sounds lovely. Almonds are my most favorite nuts and I can eat endlessly if no one stops me! :)

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    1. Nami, those Burnt Sugar Almonds are always a very welcome treat at this time of year - we all enjoy them and they are quite easy to get addicted to. Thank you for kind words and all your lovely comments, dear friend!

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  10. Andrea, you have brought back memories of the Weihnachtmärktes that we attended while in Germany during the advent season. The smell of the almonds cooking in the big pots is wonderful. Loved with photos with your antique toys…so appropriate. Karen

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    1. Karen, so very glad that I am not the only fan of vintage toys - to me they are so very photogenic and so very seasonal! Thanks for the nice comment! Sure hope that the Gebrannte Mandel that you tasted while visiting Germany were served to you while still warm from the copper kettle!

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  11. Rien de mieux que des amandes grillés pour ce mettre dans l'état d'esprit des fêtes. Que de bon souvenirs, je semble presque déjà pouvoir les goûter qu'avec les images. Définitivement une recette à essayer.

    Nicolas

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    1. Mon cher Nicolas, merci beaucoup pour ton très gentil commenatire! Je sais que tu connais asssez bien les amandes brulées. Essaye cette recette une fois - si tu trouve le temps!

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  12. These sound wonderful! All of your recipes sound wonderful!

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    1. Guyla, you are one very kind commentator, thank you!

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  13. Andrea, these burnt sugar almonds look perfect! I can almost smell them! Roasting nuts smell so good and especially when they are flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla. The malls in Houston, I remember used to have a cart that sold these and the aroma was intoxicating. I love that now, I have a recipe of my own when I want to try and make them. Have a great weekend my friend!

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    1. Nazneen, if and when you do make these (they take barely 20 minutes to make), just make double sure NOT to take a non-stick pot but rather a cast iron one or one with a heavy bottom!

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  14. aaaahhh sugar burnt almonds are the best!!! You are such a genius to make them by yourself Andrea!! I totally admire your kitchen-skills!! :) They look perfect! Amazing...
    xox Amy

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    1. Amy, you are so kind - I think in EU they are sold at all the Christmas and Advent markets - just cannot resist these, they smell incredible when you make them at home.

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  15. Liebe Andrea,
    bei HeimGourmet laufen gerade die letzten Tage unseres Rezeptewettbewerbs für das beste Weihnachtsgebäck (http://goo.gl/6wS2Mo), wäre schade, wenn du da mit deinen tollen Rezepten nicht mitmachtest! Außerdem würden wir dir gerne ein schriftliches Interview anbieten - bei Interesse melde dich doch bitte bei mir unter monkemoller@heimgourmet.com.
    Beste Grüße,
    Alexandra
    http://www.heimgourmet.com/

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