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Men Love Almond Butter Crunch
Submitted by Pam on Fri, 12/02/2011 - 20:32
Men love this stuff! Trust me! Make a batch, put it in a tin and it will be a most welcome gift!
Added December 5th. Notice the post date above! As of this minute - the entire tin is gone! My man simply could not keep his mitts off of these!
Making Almond Butter Crunch is very, very easy and is perfect for beginning candy makers.
The only out of the ordinary tool you will need to have on hand is a candy thermometer. You can pick them up almost anywhere for very little money.
Don't be put off if you have never used one - really this is a great recipe for beginning candy makers. Just keep in mind you will be working with a very hot mixture and be attentive and careful.
Since most of you have at least simple kitchen skills, I am not going to share step by step photos. If you can chop and stir, you can do this! I am only sharing images of the process that I feel will be helpful for reference.
ALMOND BUTTER CRUNCH
1 cup butter
1 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
3 Tablespoons water
1 cup blanched almonds for candy center
14 oz semi-sweet chocolate bars (milk chocolate can be used if you prefer)
1 cup blanched almonds for topping
How to make the candy!
1. Set your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13" x 9 1/2" x 2" pan with foil. Do NOT grease.
Once the oven reaches temperature, place both cups of blanched almonds ( I use slivered almonds not whole) on a rimmed cookie sheet and place the sheet in the oven. Stir every couple minutes. Nuts should be roasted in about 4 to 6 minutes depending on your oven. You will know by the smell of toasty goodness when they are ready! Remove and cool.
2. When nuts are cooled, measure out one cup and chop fairly coarsely - refer to images below to get the idea. Chop the other cup more finely - refer to top image.
3. Secure the candy thermometer to the side of your pan using the clip provided.
4. Place the butter (small chunks of butter work best), sugar, corn syrup and water in a 3 quart saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally with the burner setting just past medium until the candy thermometer reads "hard-crack". (This will be marked on your thermometer just above 300 degrees.) I tend to stir a little more frequently toward the end.
NOTE: The temperature creeps and creeps and creeps. Be patient. AND WATCHFUL - because near the very end of the cooking time the temperature will rise quite quickly.
Here are a series of images so you can be prepared for what you will see going on in the sauce pan!! (They are taken in in the crappy light over my stove while watching my pot so not the greatest!)
The mixture is very bubbly at first!
Then it begins to appear thicker.
It will begin to get a little darker in color.
Right near the end of the cooking time, it will become a lovely golden brown color. At this point, be sure to move the candy thermometer slightly (being very careful so you don't burn yourself) so you can stir in the candy trapped behind the thermometer.
5. Have your nuts right at the ready because the second the thermometer reads "hard crack", stop stirring, add the coarsely chopped almonds, stir a couple times and immediately remove from heat.
The hard part is done! whew!
6. Make sure your 9 1/2 x 13 pan is sitting on a wooden surface or wire rack. Immediately pour the candy mixture into the pan and smooth the mixture over the bottom with a spatula making as even a layer as possible.The candy will do most of the work for you.
7. Allow the candy to cool completely.
Note: The sauce pan - yuck! But if you will fill it with hot water and let it sit for a bit, all that sticky sugary mess will dissolve!
8. While the candy is cooling, chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt over hot (NOT boiling) water.
8. Remove the cooled candy from the pan. Remove the foil. Place the candy on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
9. Using a spatula, spread half of the melted chocolate over the entire surface of the butter crunch candy.
10. Sprinkle with half of the finely chopped nuts.
11. Cover the surface with wax paper and turn upside down! This is best done with the aid of another cookie sheet. Place the second cookie sheet on top and holding both cookie sheets together tightly with both hands, quickly flip the "sandwich"!
12. Repeat steps 9 and 10.
13 Allow the chocolate to harden in a cool place - or if you are in a hurry to sample it - the fridge!
14. Break candy into pieces and store in air tight tins.
Note, sometimes the chocolate coat will break away from the candy layer but this has never seemed to be a problem for anyone! It is all yummy!
This recipe has been added to the 2011 Holiday Recipe Swap. I hope you will join me and share your favorite!