All of this cookie talk has me mentally prepping for the upcoming holiday season. This year I hope to make baskets of cookies and candies for my neighbors, and while it's too early to start baking, it's never too early to start planning. My list of treats is already quite long, but when I saw rainbowdarling's recipe for Almond Roca, I knew I had to add it to the group. The best thing about it is that it's so adaptable. If you prefer pecans, use those instead. If you like peppermint, crush some up and add it to the mix!
To learn how to make your own homemade Almond Roca,
Recipe submitted by TeamSugar member rainbowdarling
I absolutely love almond roca. A family friend used to make this yearly for my dad for Christmas. Every year, he would get a beautifully wrapped shoe box sized parcel from her at Christmas time, which would be filled with this delectable candy. A few years ago, I set out to figure out how to make it myself. It turned out to be a remarkably easy recipe to replicate, and after some trial and error, I finally settled on a recipe that is basically fail-proof as long as I have a steady stove and am paying attention.
1 lb real butter
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 tablespoons water
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 (11 1/2 ounce) bag milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
While the butter is melting, chop up almonds and brown them lightly in a frying pan.
As soon as the butter is melted, add corn syrup, water and sugar, and cook over medium heat until temperature reaches a hard crack (290 degrees), and becomes the color of a brown paper bag, stirring frequently.
Once the candy reaches this tempurature and color, remove from the heat and mix in all of the chopped, toasted almonds. Leave approximately 1 teaspoon for sprinkling over the top, as well as any flakes that have resulted from chopping. Once the nuts are thorougly mixed in, spread the candy out onto a cookie sheet with edges. Spread it out as thick or as thin as you like, the candy will be good no matter what.
Open the bag of chocolate chips, and with a spoonula, spread them over the top of the still-warm candy until all the candy is colored with cocolate. Sprinkle remaining almonds and flakes over the top and allow candy to cool completely. If covered carefully with hand towels, roca may be placed into the refridgerator to speed cooling. Make sure, though, as it is cooling, that it is not in a very moist spot, or the candy's texture may alter. Once it is cool, you may break it into pieces as small or as large as you like.
Many recipes recommend not making this when it is humid or if it is rainy, but by that logic, I would not be able to make this recipe for about ten months of the year, being as I live in the Pacific Northwest right now, and it rains a fair amount. Just make sure the room in which you're making it is not actually filled with moisture. (For instance, if you've just left the dishwasher open to cool down after it has only just finished washing, it may not be a good idea to make this candy just yet.) It should be fine.
This is definitely one of my favorite holiday recipes, as well. It packages easily and is quite giftable - always a plus!