Monday, December 9, 2013

Almond Brittle with a Twist

I hate candy thermometers.  There.  I've said it.  I like candy I can make without trying to clamp a thermometer onto the side of the pot, at which point it either falls in, touches the bottom and gives me a false reading, or ends up stickier than all get-out and nearly impossible to clean (usually all three).
So you can imagine my glee when I discover a candy I can make just by EYEBALLING it!  That's my kind of cooking, Honey.
I also like to give recipes a twist.  In this case, there are actually THREE twists.  The first is that it's so easy my mentally challenged chihuahua could make it (no thermometer!).  The second is that I've added a spicy kick (optional), and the third is that I've drizzled it with chocolate, something that should be a law, don't you think?

And this time I've added 7 photos, something I have never done!  Granted, they will not be appearing soon in National Geographic, but pretend I took them with my cell phone.  Okay, you don't have to pretend; I did take them with my cell phone.
This candy makes a wonderful Christmas gift, too (as do my 22 books-- you can see them here).  Cut the recipe in half, if you want a smaller amount.
So here we go:
2 sticks butter
2 Tbsp. white corn syrup
2 Cups slivered almonds
1 Cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1/4 Cup dark chocolate pieces (use the best quality you can)

Place several strips of foil on a work surface.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, stir butter, syrup, almonds, sugar, and pepper.

It will melt into a mixture that looks like this.

Stir it until it turns the color of caramel.  If you like a harder, less sweet toffee, cook it until it browns a bit more.

Pour the mixture onto the foil, spreading it as thinly as you can.  Cool.

Warm chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl just until it begins to melt.  Stir the pieces and the heat from them will melt each other.  Once melted, dip a fork into the chocolate, then fling it back and forth over the brittle, to create streaks of chocolate.  Don't go crazy with the flinging; your fridge does not need a chocolate coating.

  Let harden, then break into chunks. Wrap in a tin, a box, or a cellophane bag.  Tie with a fluffy bow and you have a great gift to give.

This one is for Janet Barton, whose darling daughter, Tiffany, married my son, Cassidy, last year.  Janet is an amazing food blogger who just happens to make the most PERFECT candy truffles in the universe and I am not kidding, so it's intimidating to give her anything from the kitchen.  However, she loves nuts, spicy foods, and dark chocolate, so I'm hoping she will enjoy these treats as she concocts her next fantastic dish.  Did I mention she's also a marathon runner, younger and thinner than me, and, and, and???  Sigh.

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