Almond crunchy nougat for Christmas

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As usual I reduce myself to the last minute. Just like the almond crunchy nougat, to be prepared even at the last minute. Here the recipe of this ancient, simple delicious sweet treat. To follow a proposal of menu – all Genoese – to be prepared during the holidays.

A clever recipe: you prepare it in few minutes, you can keep it for days, it’s cheerful and everyone likes it!

It will be part of the army of sweets that also this year will begin the invasion of our Christmas table when the oilpot, the leftovers of bread, and the serving plate of the leg of lamb still shall be brought into the kitchen.

Because this Christmas, at least at the table, will be as special as the past years, perhaps even more. For compensation. There will be traditional dishes of course (such as ravioli with meat sauce, roast lamb, scorzonera, pandolce, nougat and pastries of Villa Profumo old pastry shop) but also some news – always very Genoese – as the crunchy almonds nougat.

My recipes of Genoese almond crunchy nougat
croccante di mandorle

My almond crunchy nougat recipe, as often happens, is a compromise between various recipes read on the few books of Ligurian cuisine in my opinion reliable. Before I ventured in search of the traditional Ligurian recipe I thought that crunchy nougat is made only with caramel (then sugar) and almonds. Then I discovered that some recipes also included butter. The result: an opaque caramel with a slight taste of milk, like toffee. Not bad, but without exaggerating. I prefer almonds to give the fat/oily flavor to the nougat rather than butter. So my recipe, which includes butter (because to the unquestionable judgment of my son George “it needs it”), has just little some.

Almonds should be white, peeled. I like almond skins, just as I like walnut skins in walnut sauce, so I use whole almonds, even tastier on my opinion.

Making almond crunchy nougat is a piece of cake!
almond crunchy nugat


If you want to know what we use to eat in Genoa for Christmas, have a look at the traditional Genoa Christmas Menu I posted last year!

Other desserts we use to serve at Christmas in Liguria are Pandolce, the very ancient Genoa Christmas cake, and Gobeletti, shortcrust pastries filled with jam.

In this post you can find, instead, a quick overview of Christmas traditions in Genoa, have a look at my post where I also share two video tutorials for creating wonderful Christmas floral decorations!


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Ciao! I’m Enrica

a home cook, food researcher and experience curator born and bred in Liguria.
I study, tell, cook, share and teach Ligurian cuisine and the culture surrounding it.
Here we celebrate Liguria’s gastronomic diversity and richness through its recipes, producers, traditions and shops.

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