Mom's Almond Rocca
*This is an absolute Christmas necessity in my family. It’s only made once a year because it’s a pain to make but its ooooohhhh sooooooo good!!! Very good as gifts.
(This is for a double batch and can easily be halved)
2 cans Smokehouse Almonds (Blue Diamond is a good brand)
Chop nuts as fine or as chunky as you like (reserve half a cup and chop very fine for topping)
In a heavy pot (like a dutch oven) melt 1 pound real butter (don’t use unsalted!).
Add 2 2/3 C. white sugar, 1Tblsp light corn syrup, & 6 Tblsp. water.
Stir over meduim-high heat until it starts to boil. Then wash the sides of the pot and the stir spoon down with water on a pastry brush, eliminating any sugar crystals. Cook, stirring occasionally (frequently/occasionally and avoid scraping the sides of the pan. only scrape the bottom of pan) until it reaches the hard crack stage (300 degrees on a candy thermometer). You’ll have to stir continually after it reaches 280 degrees to keep it from scorching.
At 300 degrees turn heat off and quickly stir in nuts (again, try to avoid scraping the sides of the pan) Pour onto an ungreased cookie sheet (or two overlapped sheets of aluminum foil on your counter top) and let set for about 5 min. Then, gently sprinkle with a 12 oz. Bag of your favorite chocolate chips and let set until chips are melted and ready to spread. Spread chocolate and sprinkle with reserved nuts and let set till chocolate hardens. Then break up into desired size pieces
My extra tips;
1. Wait till it gets to just 1-2 degrees above 300 degrees before you remove from heat (I find that if you take it off too soon the Rocca is a bit chewy)
2. Don’t bother putting the candy thermometer in until the mixture turns a deep golden brown or you’ll be bothered by it for longer than necessary.
3. The best stirring spoon is a long handled, flat bottomed, wooden spoon
4. When the mixture starts to boil wear an oven mitt on your stirring hand (you will prevent many a blister this way)
5. If you cool it on Aluminum foil, loosen it from off the foil before trying to break it, otherwise it will shatter rather than break.
this is a variation that I started making sevearl years ago and it is SO very yummy. Make rocca as stated above, only swap out the almonds and chocolate chips for cashews and white chocolate chips. ENJOY!