Easy Candied Almonds and Hazelnuts Recipe

If there was a candy making for dummies book (what am I saying, of course there is one) this recipe would deserve a prominent spot.

No sugar thermometer, no elaborate trick, very few opportunities for a major burn (unless you really apply yourself). Just a bit of boiling, stirring, and baking, and still these minimal efforts will yield something delicious that anyone will recognize as candy.

190 Cours IllustresThe technique was brought to my attention by a post on Rose & Cook, a French food blog I’ve only recently discovered and is one of my latest favorites. The post in question was about a chocolate and hazelnut cookie recipe that the author had drawn from the book 190 Cours illustrés à l’Ecole de cuisine Alain Ducasse, a big book that is in fact a compilation of recipes and step-by-step pictures drawn from the many smaller “Leçon de cuisine” books that Alain Ducasse’s publishing house has issued about various culinary themes over the years.

I actually have a copy of this thick tome myself, but I hadn’t particularly noticed the cookie recipe, nor had I realized that it contained a short but powerful little sub-recipe for noisettes sablées — literally “sandy hazelnuts” — that you were directed to fold into the cookie dough. But Rose (I assume such is the name of the author of the Rose & Cook blog, though it’s not clear) pointed out that the candied hazelnuts were particularly irresistible, and the recipe looked so simple I tried it as soon as I had a moment.

The recipe didn’t quite work for me as written: there was way more syrup than was needed to coat the quantity of nuts listed, so I reduced the quantity of water slightly and doubled the amount of nuts, using both hazelnuts and almonds. I also sprinkled on some salt, because it felt like the right thing to do (it was).

A mere twenty minutes later, I was standing over a tray of candied almonds and hazelnuts in their golden brown sugar coating, waiting impatiently for them to cool just enough for me to try a bite into their crisp and lightly caramelized outer shell.

And after some extensive tasting (ahem), I can imagine a million uses for these: in cookie or brioche dough, certainly, but also to garnish fruit (or vegetable) salads, fold into or serve on top of ice cream, embed in homemade chocolate bars, simply snack on (they pair well with dried fruit or a square of dark chocolate in the afternoon), or give away in little bags or jars with a pretty ribbon. You could also imagine all kinds of spiced variations, though I myself prefer to keep the flavors simple here.

What would you use those in, and what’s your favorite easy candy to make?

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Easy Candied Almonds and Hazelnuts Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes 250 grams (9 ounces) candied nuts.

Easy Candied Almonds and Hazelnuts Recipe


  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) white sugar (don't use unrefined sugar: the impurities it contains would prevent it from candying properly)
  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces, about 1 cup) whole almonds, not blanched
  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces, about 1 cup) whole hazelnuts, not blanched
  • 3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or other flaky sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and 15 ml (1 tablespoon) water. Place over medium heat, stir just until the sugar is completely dissolved, then bring to the boil without disturbing.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the almonds and hazelnuts, and stir until evenly coated. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread out into a single layer with a spatula. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.
  4. Insert in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, stirring with a spatula every 5 minutes, until the nuts are coated with a golden brown crystallized sugar crust.
  5. Let cool completely before transferring to an airtight jar. Once they're in the jar, take care not to shake it too much, or the sugar crust will loosen and fall on some of the nuts.


  • Naturally you could substitute other kinds of nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, macadamias, cashews, etc.
  • the recipe can be doubled.

  • Even though I’ve never made candied nuts, candied pecans are one of my absolute favorite things and you’ve totally inspired me to make these! These would be great to have around at a party this time of year… :)

  • Ooh, these sound so good! I’m a sucker for toasted/roasted hazelnuts in all applications, and this looks so simple and easy to do. Bookmarked!

  • Dory

    Thank you. I am trying to reduce sugar in my life without totally eliminating it, and I love the idea that this recipe looks like it gives the impression of being candy, without having a huge amount of sugar per serving. Thank you. I may make little net bags of this for Christmas.


  • LynneD

    I do these on the stovetop in a frying pan, using butter instead of water, makes beautiful caramelized almonds.

  • Yum! yum! yum! and so wonderfully simple. I think in this household they wouldn’t get beyond the ‘extensive sampling’ stage. They’d never make it into biscuits or granola or even scattered over icecream.

    • Granola is an excellent suggestion, Susan!

  • They are so easy to make and look so delicious that I can’t wait to make them. However I will need more quantities because they will disappear in a minute.

  • richard

    I toss mine with corn syrup first and then white sugar. Add a pinch of pepper, cayenne and salt for more flavor. The corn syrup give the nuts a glossy coat and a crunchy candy coating.

  • I am folding these into my next batch of sugar cookies. My favorite candy to make is the Chocolate Caramel Crackers from Smitten. I’m making some later today for gifts.

  • These look great, and trés facile! I make some that are similar, but my recipe includes a beaten egg whte, which helps the sugar stick, then you just toss and bake. but I will try these too. Being a southern girl, I make them with pecans, but hazelnuts are an inspired idea! Merci.

  • What a lovely and simple idea for gifts this season!

  • Hi, wondering if this recipe is the updated amonts with less water and more nuts? or are you saying do that to the recipe listed? Thanks xxCorrina.

    • The recipe, as written here, incorporates my modifications. (In general, you can trust that the recipes I publish on my blog reflect what I recommend you do.)

  • I like how easy this sounds. Would love to try it sometime – a simply gorgeous treat.

  • Ahh… always very usefull candied nuts. I just had an idea, Chocolaty vision! hihi
    Off to the kitchen to try out christmas sweets. *wave*

  • christiana

    Clotilde..they sound delicious! I will definately add those to my x’mas baking gift list.Pecans for sure for me..or macadamia’s…with added cinnamon.Yum!

  • This sounds lovely, and easy. I wonder whether it would work as a coating for dried fruit, too? Or even fresh satsuma or clementine segments…. If I make some, they will go on our Christmas table (our family tradition is to have dessert – not quite the 13 desserts de Provence, but that sort of idea).

    My favourite sweets to make are chocolates – either dried fruit (prunes, apricots, etc) and/or nuts dipped in melted dark chocolate and left to dry on a silicone baking sheet.

    Or make a stiff ganache with double cream and good-quality dark chocolate, add quite a lot of brandy, armagnac, rum or calvados, let it set, then roll into little balls and dust with cocoa powder – home-made chocolate truffles! Known, in our family, as “fewmets”. They, too, might be nice dipped in melted dark chocolate….

    Need to get busy making the Christmas sweets!

  • shivangni

    I was just remembering candied walnuts made by our neighbour in my childhood and your post appears.
    I’ll definitely try to make it asap.


  • I made these and gave them as gifts to my coworkers….they loved them-merci! On another note, how is Mockingjay? I am reading Catching Fire right now – its sooooo good. Happy Holidays!!!!!!

    • Glad your coworkers enjoyed these Maria, thanks for reporting back!

      As for the Hunger Games, I loved the first volume and couldn’t put it down. I find the next two are slightly less engrossing, but with such cliffhangers at the end of each, it’s impossible not to want to know what happens next. :)

  • Liz

    Love these! You can also substitute vinegar (rice, red wine, malt, cider, whatever you like) for some of the water–gives it a little more savory tang.

    • I’ll have to try that, thank you!

  • Alix

    Not only does this sound delicious, it also seems easy enough for even me to attempt!

  • Cheryl S.

    I’ll be trying this recipe for sure!
    When you mention “unblanched” nuts, do you mean almonds and hazelnuts with the skins still on?
    And, thank you Richard for your
    “corn syrup” addition. I’ll be incorporating that into the recipe as well.

    • Absolutely right, Cheryl, unblanched means “with the skin on”!

  • what a coincidence! I just posted an Alain Ducasse recipe today!! it’s a Bittersweet chocolate tart that is to die for!! super elegant… I hope you can check it out

  • Love almonds. One of my faves.

  • Jennifer

    These are wonderful, I’ve just made a huge jar. After 20 minutes in the oven, the sugar hadn’t turned golden & I didn’t want to take it further & burn the almonds. The resulting snow-white shell is actually perfect for Christmas presents, though. Thank you!

    • Thanks for reporting back, Jennifer! In my experience, the syrup protects the almonds and prevent them from burning, so if you try this again, try baking them a little longer — keeping a good eye on them — so the sugar crust will caramelize.

  • This is the perfect recipe for me. I am so impatient when making candy. Can’t wait to try with pecans.

  • Great recipe – just what I was looking for. I make a fantastic 5 minute fudge- recipe and photos here: your-dreams-are-a-preview-to-your-greatness-hold-them-close
    I am going to make this tomorrow! Great site,

  • Madonna

    I thought my holiday baking and candy making marathon was over, but I’m going to have to make these candied nuts.

    My go-to candy for the holidays is pecan pralines made from my grandmother’s recipe. They’re rich, creamy-crunchy, and delicious.

    Clotilde, I checked out the Rose and Cook blog. I can understand why it’s become one of your favorites. The recipe for the white chocolate cookies with rose praline looks wonderful and I’d love to try it. Can you provide any guidance on making rose praline? That’s something new to me.

    • I remember tasting pecan pralines in Louisiana one summer — absolutely delicious!

      Regarding the pink pralines, I’m sorry that I can’t offer pointers as I’ve never made them myself. They’re a specialty from the city of Lyon, and I wrote a bit about them in this post. I’ll note that they’re tinted pink, but not rose-flavored.

      • Madonna

        I guess experimenting with these cookies and your beautiful chocolate cake will have to wait. I can’t find a source for rose praline in the US or a recipe. I do have something to add to my “things to bring home” list for our trip to France next year.

        The candied nuts won’t have to wait. I’m making those this afternoon, along with another batch of pralines. The first one disappeared very quickly.

  • I would eat these in a green salad with blue cheese, balsamic vinegarette, and roasted red peppers, mmm–or just chomp on them all on their own!

    These would make a great holiday gift too. Thanks for the recipe!

  • charmain

    Lovely way to candy nuts! No fuss over the stovetop.
    I also had the problem of the sugar not producing a golden crust. As I live in a dry climate (humidity is very low in very cold climates ! ) I finally determined that I needed to increase the water as my sugar would be much more dry to start with. [ It pours freely all year round- as does my salt. ]

    To save the first batch I tried to cook longer, but was only producing nearly burnt nuts with a white coating. I saved them from the oven and sprayed them lightly with water. Voila. A golden crust. For all of you out there – be careful when doing this…. heat and cold water can be unpredictable.

    Next batch will be with 2 tbsp of water. And I think cayenne and paprika for fun.

    • How interesting — thank you for reporting back. Two tablespoons of water was what the original recipe recommended, but it was too much water for me and the high-humidity week we were having. :)

  • Im dangerous with candied almonds haha. Before you know it, they’re all gone! I dont know how it happens ;)

  • Caroline Turnbull-Hall

    Just too delicious!

  • Cathy Champion

    For those of us who are diabetic, how do you think these would turn out using Stevia instead of sugar (stevia is an herb that looks like granulated sugar and is all natural, no aspartame or nutrasweet in it)? In cooking you use less Stevia than sugar so I’m guessing that it and the water would have to be reduced.

    • I’ve never used Stevia so I can’t say for sure, but this recipe relies on the caramelization of sugar, and I’m don’t think Stevia ever caramelizes, so my instinct is that it wouldn’t work.

  • Lisa

    I’ve noticed that a lot of spiced nut recipes call for egg white. What does that normally do that would make it different from this recipe? (is it to make the coating stick better?) Love the sound of these though! I’ve been making an easy microwave version for a bit, but these seem easy enough :)

    • I’ve never tried it with egg white but I suspect, as you do, that it helps the coating stick better. It likely makes the nuts less shelf stable, though.

  • I was just thinking about looking for a recipe like this as I was rading through your newsletter. Talk about syncronicity!
    In the picture (and the desciption) they look and feel like what my mother-in-law would make. Since she just passed away I wanted to keep her candied almond torch buring. Grazie!

  • Jason

    Hi! I tried making this today (with only almonds, I’m afraid) and they turned out wonderfully. I was looking for something to munch in the afternoons that would keep me away from my 6 year old son’s cookies. In fact, he tried them and liked them! Odd for him since he tends to really dislike nuts of any kind. So score one for you!

    • I’m so glad, Jason, thanks for reporting back!

  • Nancy

    I’ve made these the past two Christmas seasons, and they are fantastic! We’re Americans living in the Middle East, and we travel to other places for the holiday. For two years in a row now, we’re taken a load of these with us as snacks. This year, I simmered a cinnamon stick and two star anise in the sugar, and they smell fantastic. I’m also giving small bundles to friends (Christian and Muslim :)) as gifts. Thank you for this fantastic recipe! I’ll be back to do it again next year.

    • That’s very good to hear, Nancy, thank you for reporting back and sharing your tips!

  • Therese

    I want to make the almonds with the rose flavoring. Do you add it in with the sugar before cooking or after the sugar has cooked? Thanks so much

    • I would add it after the sugar has cooked, as most flavorings lose their potency when heated. Do report back if you try it!

  • Lauren

    can you add vanilla and if so when – I am a non cook person; would like to make these but need specifics if I want to add vanilla – thanks for a reply

    • Would you like to add vanilla extract, or vanilla from fresh pods?

  • Savannah F.

    This turned out wonderfully. I did half almonds, half walnuts and tossed in some dried cranberries.

    • I’m so glad, Savannah, thanks for reporting back!

  • Y

    What temperature?? (am I the only one to need this?)

    • As noted in the recipe, the oven should be at 150°C (300°F). Happy holidays!

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