This recipe has been wondering in my mind for a long time. The image of shiny almonds, the movement of dense caramel dripping, the crunchy sound on every single bite...All this has been whirling in my imagination.
I just did not have a plausible excuse to prepare them. Not that I needed an excuse... But you know, if there a good reason to make them the sin would seem less sinful...
And I finally have an excuse! Easter is just around the corner and candied almonds match perfectly with the season! Perfect!
These Balsamic Caramel Candied Almonds turn out to be exactly what I’ve creating in my imagination. The caramel is sweet and thick and has a very subtle acidic touch from the balsamic vinegar, without becoming too vinegary.
And they are so easy and quick to prepare that it is difficult to believe...Five ingredients, a non-stick pan, one sheet parchment paper, 10 minute of your time, and you're done! And the kitchen ends up smelling like caramel waves...Too good...
Then you just need some patience to let the caramel cool down and solidify. It's hard, I know, because these almonds are screaming out laud in despair for a bite...But keep yourself busy with something, it is worth the wait!
How many times I will repeat this recipe until Easter pass...
Balsamic Caramel Candied Almonds
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
Cost: ~ € 3.15 (in Portugal)
Nutritional Information (per serving of 10 almonds): 98 kcal, 2.3 g protein, 5.2 g carbohydrates 7.4 g fat
1 cup Almonds* with skin (~ 140 g)
1/4 cup Coconut Sugar (~ 30 g) (brown sugar should work too)
1 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tbsp Agave Nectar
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
*For a nut-free option, substitute almonds by pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
1. Prepare a baking tray lined with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Place the almonds in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat to toast them. Stir frequently to prevent the almonds to burn. When they begin to pop (approximately 5 minutes), remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. (Do not let the almonds in the skillet because it is still very hot and can burn them.)
3. Using the same non-stick skillet, put it over very low heat and add in the coconut oil. Wait a few moments for it to melt.
4. When the coconut oil is melted, add the agave, balsamic vinegar and coconut sugar and stir to combine. Let caramelize on very low heat, stirring constantly.
5. When you start to bubble add in the toasted almonds and stir to incorporate. Let it caramelize for another 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. (Do not let your caramel too overheat or it will become bitter. Whenever you see that it starts to bubble too vigorously remove the skillet from the heat for a moment.)
6. Transfer the caramelized almonds to the lined tray and spread them in a one layer. Allow to cool for approximately 30 minutes for the caramel to cool down and solidify. When cold keep them in a closed container.
I hope you enjoy this appetizer for Easter! What goodies will you prepare this Easter? Comment below!