Glazed Spanish Peanuts

Glazed Spanish Peanuts Dried in Pan

Glazed Spanish Peanuts | Erica Robbin

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Such a delicious, easy, quick, satisfying snack.

A dear friend introduced me to this recipe when I was living in Malawi, Africa. They are called skaba za sugar in the Tumbuka language, sugar nuts in English.

They are sugared peanuts, similar to what you would find in a cone-shaped bag at Disney Land or at the fair.

Peanuts, known as ground nuts, also commonly known as Spanish peanuts or red peanuts, are actually endemic to South America. They were one of the most protein-rich food items I could find in our local community. My friend sells them at her shop.

The ground nut plant likes warmth and sun and loose, sandy soil, which I found was the predominant soil composition, hence why they grow so well there. They’re actually not too difficult to grow in cold climates either, having tried it in agricultural zone 6, as long as you get the soil right.

The sugar-preservation keeps them around a bit longer and they are a wonderful source of niacin, thiamin, folate, and iron that you can easily keep on hand year-round well after the growing season is over.

They have become my go-to recipe for a quick and satisfying snack.

They are also great as a treat to bring to a party or given as a gift in a treat bag tied with a bow.

It’s super important to make sure that you cook the peanuts in the liquid mixture until it has mostly evaporated so that when you bake it, the peanuts won’t turn into a brick of peanut brittle that gets stuck in the pan. Baking hardens the outside, though I had to skip baking a couple times when I didn’t have electricity and they tasted great, just a softer texture.

When prepared as below, they have this semi-crunchy, chewy texture that is so fulfilling.




  • 3 cups raw Spanish peanuts (ground nuts with skins)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract or paste (optional)


  1. Cook peanuts, water, sugar, and vanilla in a pan over low-medium heat until mixture becomes gooey and liquid is all evaporated. Be patient as too high of a heat will burn them, though if you do, they actually still taste yummy, so don’t throw them out if you mess up.
  2. Spread peanuts on a cookie sheet or shallow dish and bake peanuts in 325 degree (163 C) oven for about 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently, about every 5-10 minutes, until sugar begins to crystalize.
  3. Quickly spread peanuts over a surface of foil, parchment paper, or wax paper to cool.

Lake Malawi Boat on Beach | Erica Robbin
Spanish Peanut Plant | Erica Robbin
Cooking Glazed Spanish Peanuts | Erica Robbin
Cooking Glazed Spanish Peanuts | Erica Robbin
Baking Glazed Spanish Peanuts | Erica Robbin

What is your favorite go-to snack?

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