Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Candy is Dandy

I love caramel in any form, particularly with chocolate, and decided today to make this buttercrunch toffee from Rose’s Christmas Cookies- yes, I know it is April, but I couldn’t resist. It just looked and sounded so delicious. It is fairly straightforward to make, but a candy thermometer is definitely required for the caramel.  Warning: this toffee melts in your mouth and can be addictive.  Don’t want to keep it around (a baking blog makes the gym more than a necessity)- it is great to give as a hostess gift.

Mahogany Buttercrunch Toffee from Rose’s Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum
2 cups blanched sliced almonds (6 oz)
1 ¼ cups light brown sugar (9.5 oz)
2 tablespoons water
½ cup unsalted butter (4 oz)
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon baking soda
6 oz of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (I used a 3 oz bar of each) broken into squares

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet-greased, nonstick or buttered.  Mark off a 7 inch by 10 inch area on the sheet. I used parchment paper to line the sheet and marked off the rectangle.

Place the almonds on another cookie sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes until golden. Cool completely.  In a food processor with the metal blade, pulse the almonds until chopped finely, but not powder.  Sprinkle half the almonds over the 7x10 inch rectangle on the cookie sheet.

In a heavy saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, and water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Continue stirring to prevent burning, and cook until mixture reaches 285 degrees on a candy thermometer, the soft-crack stage.  Remove from heat, and add the vanilla extract and baking soda immediately. Pour the caramel mixture over the nuts on the prepared cookie sheet.  Immediately scatter the chocolate squares over the hot caramel. Press the squares lightly with your fingers so they start melting. After about 5 minutes, used a metal spreader to spread chocolate in an even layer.  Sprinkle with remaining chopped almonds.  Cool completely and break into irregular pieces.

This can be stored at room temperature for about one month (if it lasts that long).


((post by susan))

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