Saturday, December 25, 2010

Caramel Brittle with Almonds ~ Christmas Treats

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.
~Peg Bracken

With Christmas round the corner and me back from my Hyderabad trip.... Daksayani was vying for my attention.... She was very excited about her gifts.
I made her some Caramel Brittle with Almonds, had to omit the chocolate from the recipe.

Caramel Almond Brittle
adapted from The Yummy Life
1 cup unblanched (skin on) whole almonds [Just used them as is, she just won't wait for me so long]
1 cup butter [I used 1:2 ratio of Butter to Sugar, based on mamu's feedback from last time]
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 (12 oz.) package milk chocolate chips (2 cups)
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans [omitted]

1. Toast almonds by spreading them in a single layer on a plate and microwaving on high for 2-3 minutes (stir after each minute).
2. On foil-lined baking sheet, arrange almonds in a single layer over an area measuring approx. 13x9 inches. [Since I used shapes, I poured directly into the cookie moulds]
3. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt.
4. Cook over med-high heat, stirring constantly with a clean, dry wooden spoon till butter is melted.
5. Continue cooking and stirring for approx. 7-10 min. till candy is the color of the brown skin of the almonds; it will start smoking slightly.
6. Immediately pour candy, without scraping pan, over almonds, covering all nuts.
7. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the hot candy. Wait 1 minute and spread the melted chocolate until it is smooth.
8. Cool and break into pieces.
9. Store in a tightly covered container in cool place or refrigerator.

Readers, what surprises did you find under the tree?

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