Sweet almonds are one of the things in Estonia which are quite popular during winter time. In Estonia, we usually know them as Olde Hansa almonds (Olde Hansa magusad mandlid) or just sweet almonds. These sweet almonds are usually spiced with all kind of Christmas spices and you can find these almonds in the store or on every Christmas market. I must say that they really are delicious! It´s like if you take one, then it´s quite hard to stop eating.
However, they are usually covered with refined sugar (white or brown) and in the homemade recipes, they usually use egg white. Like always I tried to use unrefined sugar to make them a little bit healthier. I also left out the egg whites because somehow I had a feeling that when I use maple syrup then it will be too many ingredients and wet. When I was creating this recipe and mixing the ingredients together, then I also had an idea to add some almond meal to get the almonds covered with all the good stuff. Just that the good stuff will stick more to the almond as they supposed to. It worked! So, in the end, I got these sweet treats, which are paleo, vegan, gluten and refined sugar-free.
The recipe is super easy. You need only almond, maple syrup and Christmas spices. The preparation time takes about 3-5 minutes and the rest of the time they are just in the oven. You just need to mix all the ingredients together and that´s it! The result is super crispy and it smells like Christmas. Also, these almonds are perfect as a Christmas gift. Put these Christmas almonds in a nice jar or bag and they are ready for Christmas.
- 160 g almonds
- Christmas spices: 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ground clove, 1/8 tsp ground cardamom, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp vanilla seeds (or vanilla bean paste)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp almond meal (almond flour)
- Preheat the oven to 175°C/ 347°F.
- Mix almonds with spices and salt.
- Add maple syrup and almond meal.
- Pour the almonds into a baking tray which is covered with baking paper.
- Bake the almonds for 15 min. Stir the almonds about two times. First time after baking 7-8 minutes. The second time just before the end of the baking.
- Take the almond out of the oven and let them cool down to room temperature. You can break them apart when they are still warm (not hot).