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Candied Almonds

Candied Almonds or Caramelized Almonds, also known as Pralined Almonds, are a traditional Christmas dessert that is quick and easy to make. The end result will delight young and old alike.
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Candied Almonds
  • Difficulty Easy
  • Prep 5 minutes
  • Cook 5 minutes
  • Servings 8 people

The Candied Almonds (Caramelized Almonds), known in Italy as “Mandorle Caramellate” are a delightful and traditional Italian Christmas treat. This recipe holds a special place in the heart of Italian culinary traditions, symbolizing the warmth and sweetness of the holiday season. Originating from the rich culinary heritage of Italy, these sugary delights have been a festive staple for generations, embodying the spirit of Italian Christmas.

The tradition of candied almonds in Italy dates back centuries, evolving over time but always retaining its core essence. They are not just a dessert, but a piece of Italian history, often shared among families and friends during holiday gatherings. The process of making candied almonds is relatively simple, but it requires patience and precision to achieve the perfect balance of sweetness and crunch.

The recipe starts with the finest quality almonds, which are the heart of this confection. These nuts are then coated in a caramelized sugar mixture, a process that requires constant attention to ensure a perfect glaze. The almonds are then left to cool, forming a shiny, crisp outer layer that perfectly complements the nutty flavor within. This transformation of simple ingredients into a luxurious treat is a testament to the ingenuity of Italian cooking.

Candied almonds are more than just a sweet snack; they are a symbol of good luck and prosperity. In Italy, it is customary to gift these sugared nuts to loved ones during the festive season, conveying wishes of happiness and fortune. Their presence on the Christmas table is a reminder of the joy and togetherness that the season brings.

This recipe not only offers a taste of Authentic Italian Christmas but also provides a chance to create lasting memories in the kitchen. Making candied almonds can be a fun and engaging activity for the whole family, bringing everyone together in anticipation of the holiday celebrations. So, let’s embark on this culinary journey and discover how to create these delightful Italian Christmas candied almonds, a treat that is sure to bring sweetness to any festive occasion.


Copy Ingredients


  1. Begin by placing almonds and sugar inside a pan to prepare the Candied Almonds.

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  2. Pour in the water and vanilla extract, then thoroughly combine all the ingredients.

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  3. Set the heat to medium-high and begin stirring. Initially, the mixture will be quite runny, but soon it will start bubbling and eventually come together to form a delicious coating around the almonds.

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  4. Keep stirring the mixture until the sugar starts to turn into caramel and gets a deep amber color. Don’t worry if you hear a slight crackling sound from the almonds, this is completely normal. Once the caramel is nicely formed, be very cautious and transfer the almonds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a wooden spoon to separate the almonds from each other as much as possible.

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  5. Once the almonds have cooled down, separate any that may have clumped together. Now, your Caramelized Almonds are all set to be savored or employed as a delightful dessert topping.

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If you want, you can enrich your Caramelized Almonds by adding a little cocoa powder to the ingredients. You will need to add it once the sugar is well melted.


Once the flame is off you will need to stir and space the almonds out quickly when they are on the drip pan: doing so will prevent them from sticking to each other as they cool.


You can store Pralined Almonds for up to a week, however, taking care to store them in an airtight container.