With the office “goodies week” coming up, and thus the responsibility to bring wonderfully yummy treats to feed to my coworkers, I pulled out the Almond Roca recipe I got from Mom last year, made a few tweaks, and whipped up a batch.
- 1 pound butter (salted is fine)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 4-6oz chopped or slivered almonds (toasted if you like)
- 8-10 ounces chocolate chips (not quite one bag – more if you love chocolate)
Directions: (you can skip to the end for the short, boring, photo-free version)
Line a cookie sheet (be sure it has edges, to trap the candy later) with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with Pam or coat it with butter. Sprinkle about half of the chopped almonds onto the foil
Note that I’ve also collected the chocolate chips and remaining almonds into bowls for easy dispensing later. Chefs call it “mise en place” I call it “planning ahead so you’re not trying to rip open a bag of chocolate chips while your 300F candy cools too quickly.”
Clip a candy thermometer (you DO have a candy thermometer, right?) to the side of a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed sauce pan, add the 1lb of butter, and have your 1 cup each of brown and white sugar standing by.
IMPORTANT NOTE – You’ll notice the wooden spoon pictured here. Let me provide you with a little visual reminder of WHY you should use a wooden spoon instead of a plastic spoon:
Moving on – Start melting the butter over medium heat. Once the butter melts enough to coat the bottom of the pan, add the sugar:
Continue stirring over medium heat as the butter and sugar melt; the butter may initially float to the top:
But as the candy heats it will turn into a smooth, caramelly blend:
Then into a thick, sticky, bubbly substance as it starts to approach 300F:
When the candy reaches 300F (or “Hard crack” on some candy thermometers) remove it from heat and pour into the pre-lined cookie sheet, spreading it with a spoon or spatula until it’s an even sheet:
Quickly add the chocolate chips, let them sit a few seconds so the heat from the candy softens them up, then start spreading them over the candy. You’ll notice they will melt on their own, no need for any additional heat sources:
Let the candy cool to room temperature, then break into pieces and pack between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container.
Directions – the short and boring version:
- Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with Pam. Sprinkle with half of the slivered almonds.
- In a heavy Dutch Oven pan melt and bring to a boil the sugars and butter over medium heat. Bring to a 300 degree boil stirring to prevent scorching. (hard crack)
- Pour onto the cookie sheet and spread it as thin as possible with a fork. Put chocolate chips on top and spread evenly when they melt. Put remaining almonds on top, pressing them down into the melted chocolate.
- Let cool to room temperature. When cool you can lift the whole thing off the pan and break into small pieces.