With my eyes wandering back and forth between my calendar, my weather app and my window to the world outside, I do not know whether to be happy or sad. Sunday will be the first day of December and also the first Advent. Time to light the first candle and open the first small package on the Advent calendar. It should be freezing cold and grey outside, but it isn’t. And there should be small, wooden houses all over the city, selling wooden toys, woolen socks, hot wine punch and candied almonds, but there aren’t any of those around here either. Even though I won’t miss the corresponding ice-cold temperatures, I will sure miss the evenings spent at the German Christmas markets. To make up for their absence I made this batch of homemade, fructose free candied almonds. Perfect for a cozy first Advent Sunday at home.
Enjoy Christmas baking and the first Advent weekend!
Recipe: Fructose Free Candied Almonds (sugar free, gluten free, vegan)
Prep time 15 minutes
- 1 cup whole almonds with skin
- 1/2 cup powdered dextrose (*)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tbs ground vanilla or one scraped vanilla pod
- optional: pinch of cinnamon
! Important note: Do not taste the almonds during the cooking process. The sugar reaches very high temperatures and may yield to painful burns.
Add dextrose to a non-sticking pan and turn heat on medium high. Stir frequently until dextrose dissolves and turns into a white syrup. This may take a minute or two. Add water, give a stir and bring to boil.
Add almonds and swirl around until evenly coated. Let simmer on medium heat for about 5-8 minutes, stirring constantly. The pan shouldn’t get too hot as the dextrose can burn easily. Listen to your eyes, nose and ears. As soon as you sense the typical smell of candied almonds, hear a cracking sound and see only a small amount of liquid left, turn down the heat and add vanilla. Stir for another minute until vanilla is well incorporated. Turn of heat
Poor the almonds on a lined backing tray. Allow to cool. Enjoy on your own or wrap in little plastic bags. They make nice Christmas gifts as well.
(*) The fructose free candied almonds were sweet enough for my personal taste. As I got used to a very subtle level of sweetness and don’t use much of any sugar substitute these days. My sister on the other hand said they should be sweeter. If you have a sweet tooth add about up to 1/4 cup of dextrose more to the recipe.