Croccante, which means cracklings, reminds me of peanut brittle, except that this sweet confection is made from almonds or hazelnuts. I usually buy it at street fairs and outdoor markets in Italy. Croccante is great party food. For gift giving, pile it into a fancy candy dish or decorative jar. MAKES ABOUT 3 DOZEN
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups blanched whole almonds
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Brush a marble slab or cookie sheet with the oil.
Place all the remaining ingredients in a heavy nonstick saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring, for about 15 minutes, or until the syrup has turned a deep caramel color and is very foamy; it should register 300°F on a candy thermometer.
Immediately pour the mixture out onto the oiled slab or cookie sheet, spreading it evenly with the spoon. Let cool completely.
Cut the croccante into rough 1-inch pieces with a heavy knife. Store in airtight jars.
This recipe is from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company Inc., in 1995.
This recipe was originally featured on Show 1424.
This recipe is featured on Season 26 - Episode 2615.