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Chocolate-Covered Almond Pralines

In candy-making, the goal is usually to prevent caramel from crystallizing. For this recipe, that's exactly what you want to do to in order to create the grainy, sandy-sugary coating beneath the chocolate. The pralines are also delicious when made with hazelnuts.

  • prep: 25 mins
    total time: 1 hour 40 mins
  • yield: Makes 75 small servings
Photography: Emily Kate Roemer

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups whole almonds (13 ounces)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Salt
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Cook's Note

Pralines can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature (75 degrees or lower; refrigerate if higher) for up to 2 weeks.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet until fragrant, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Step 2

    Bring sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches 235 degrees, about 3 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Add toasted nuts. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar begins to crystallize, about 1 minute. Stir in 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Continue to cook, stirring, until sugar forms a thin, sandlike coating on nuts, 2 to 3 minutes more. Pour mixture out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and let cool for 30 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring constantly.

  5. Step 5

    Working in batches, sift nuts in a colander to remove excess sugar, and transfer nuts to a large bowl. Add chocolate, stirring to coat nuts completely. Pour mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and separate clusters into individual nuts using a fork. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

  6. Step 6

    Toss pralines with cocoa in a large bowl, tapping off excess. Fill 75 mini baking cups with 4 pralines each.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, December 2011

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Reviews (1)

  • 24 Dec, 2011

    This recipe is awesome and got rave reviews from all who tried them! I used Valrhona Manjari 64% for the chocolate and Valrhona cocoa powder. I would not toast the almonds for 15 minutes, I think they will burn. I did 11 minutes and they turned out perfectly. I will make these again for sure. A great holiday gift too.