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Almond Croquant

This crunchy almond brittle is sometimes enjoyed in the south of France as part of "Treize Desserts," a Christmas Eve tradition of serving thirteen sweets, representing Jesus and the twelve apostles.

  • Yield: Makes one 9-by-13-inch pan

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2000

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for baking sheet
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups finely chopped blanched almonds (about 9 ounces)
  • Vegetable oil, for spatula

Directions

  1. Brush a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with butter; set aside. Combine sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush away any sugar crystals on side of pan to prevent recrystallization. Cook, swirling occasionally, until mixture reaches soft-ball stage on a candy thermometer (238 degrees).

  2. Stir in almonds; cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is light amber in color.

  3. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet; spread quickly into a 1/4-inch-thick layer with an oiled metal spatula. Let sit 2 minutes before cutting, if desired, with a sharp, oiled knife. (Or let cool completely before breaking into pieces.) Set sheet aside until completely cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Variations

To make Sesame Seed Crunch, substitute 1 1/2 cups toasted sesame seeds for the blanched almonds. Stir in 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice before pouring the mixture onto the prepared sheet.

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