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croccante

Croccante - Italian Caramelized Almonds

Simple and gourmet - with only two ingredients, create a caramelized almond dessert to eat like candy, to top ice cream and many other uses.
Prep Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 + servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cup almonds, blanched, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup granluated sugar
  • 1 wedge lemon for spreading

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  • Prepare the almonds: To blanch and peel almonds: bring 2 cups water to a boil and add almonds. Boil for 1 minute then drain. After a couple minutes, when the almonds have cooled, squeeze them out of their skins and discard the skins. Spread the almonds out on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes at 450 or until golden brown. Cool and coarsely chop the almonds.
  • Prepare a cookie sheet by covering with aluminum foil or a thin coat of peanut or olive oil. Set aside.
  • Put sugar and ¼ cup water in a saucepan and melt the sugar. Simmer gently until the sugar is completely liquified and golden in color, about 15 minutes. Don't stir. Hold the pot handle and occasionally swirl the mixture gently. Next, add the almonds and stir to coat well. Lower the heat and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Be careful not to let it burn or overcook.
  • Remove from the heat and immediately turn the mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet. Use a lemon wedge or half a potato to smooth the hot mixture so it's about 1/2 inch thick. Let cool.
  • You have several choices at this point. To eat like candy or as a stand alone dessert, cut into small diamond shape chunks. Alternately, crush in a food processor to make a coarse powder. Sprinkle the powder over ice cream, cakes or puddings. The uses are limitless!
    My partner likes to just eat them straight out of the jar when he wants something quick and sweet to go with his coffee.

Notes

Store in an airtight container, either a glass jar or ziplock bag. It will keep almost indefinitely, but will probably be eaten before then. Do not refrigerate. 
Keyword brittle, dessert, easy, Italian, praline, simple