I will be attending three Thanksgiving dinners this year. I will be wearing stretchy pants at each meal (and probably a cute little dress to cover up the fact that I’m wearing stretchy pants).
It may surprise you to know that I don’t do a lot of cooking on Thanksgiving. It’s not that I don’t want to it’s just that I have so many wonderful cooks in my life that equally enjoy preparing a Thanksgiving feast. Who am I to spoil their fun?
So instead I thought I’d bring the cooks a gift in the form of candy. While they’re mashing the potatoes and basting the bird they’ll need a bit of sustenance in the form of toffee and chocolate.
I found this recipe for “Mock Almond Crunch” in a candy making book from the 70’s with pieces of pastel nougat and divinity adorning the cover. Candy making can be an intimidating business, with it’s thermometers, pots of molten bubbling sugar and the continuous fear of crystallization. The scariest part about this recipe is having these candies lying around the house and resisting the urge to eat every piece.
The season of Holiday parties and gatherings is upon us. I like to keep simple, homemade gifts like these on hand for a thoughtful hostess gift. This batch makes plenty so whatever I don’t give right away I have stashed in an airtight bag in the freezer. That way I have a gift at the ready and out of sight out of mind – which means I won’t be eating candy all day long (in theory).
Mock Almond Crunch
adapted from “Homemade Candy from the food editors of Farm Journal”
8 whole graham crackers
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup + 2 T butter
1/4 teaspoon Fleur de Sel, Maldon, Vanilla salt – or some other fine finishing salt
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli 60%)
Lightly butter a 10×10 baking dish. Pre-heat your oven to 325*.
Arrange the graham crackers on the bottom of the dish and sprinkle the toasted almonds on top. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan melt the butter and brown sugar and boil for 3 minutes. Pour sugar mixture over the crackers and almonds in a thin even layer. Sprinkle with salt.
Place dish in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the toffee layer is bubbling all over.
Remove from the oven. When the bubbles have subsided sprinkle on the chocolate chips and let the residual heat melt them. With an offset spatula smooth the chocolate layer over the entire surface.
While still warm score the candy with a sharp knife cutting them into your desired shape and size.
Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to set the chocolate. Remove from pan and cut along the scored markings.
Serve immediately or can be sealed in an airtight container for up to one week. Can also be frozen for up to one month.