I was thinking about creative ways to use almond flour, and I remembered that it is not powdery like regular flour but instead it is a fine granular product. I then thought about candy that uses nuts and immediately I got an idea. Why not make an Almond Crunch hard crack candy that contains almond flour and roasted almond pieces? The presence of the almond flour in a candy of that type affects texture. The finished candy is easy to bite and break and eat for that reason.
I quickly developed a simple recipe for a hard crack candy that would go well with the almond flavor and provide the right texture. Thus, the recipe below is what I used to make it. It is easy to make and quite tasty.
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of light corn syrup
1/4 lb. of butter plus a small amount to lightly butter a cookie sheet
1/2 cup of honey
1/8 cup of dark molasses
½ tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of almond extract
2 cups of almond flour
2 cups of blanched, chopped, roasted almonds
Set the oven to 350ºF.
Blanch two cups of raw almonds in boiling water, remove and discard the skins, then dry the almonds with paper towels and roughly chop them on a wooden cutting board. Do the blanching by putting the almonds into a large Pyrex® measuring cup, filling it with water sufficient to cover the almonds, and then microwaving it on high power until the mixture boils. That can take from two to four minutes. Dump the almonds into a sieve over the sink to drain them, discarding the water.
Roast the chopped almonds for ten minutes in a 350ºF oven on a large cookie sheet with high sides. After the first five minutes use a spatula to stir the almond pieces to assure even roasting, then continue with the last five minutes of roasting.
Remove the roasted almond pieces from the oven and pour them into a bowl.
Clean and then butter the cookie sheet lightly. Place the roasted almond pieces evenly on the cookie sheet and set it aside.
Melt the 1/4 lb. of butter in a three quart saucepan on low heat.
Add the sugar, corn syrup, honey, molasses and salt, stirring well with each addition to mix the ingredients.
Increase the heat to medium and continue stirring slowly until all ingredients are well mixed.
Reduce the heat to low and put a candy thermometer into the mixture.
Let the mixture temperature increase slowly to 300ºF. Watch it carefully as it boils to be sure it does not boil over the top edge of the saucepan. If necessary remove the saucepan from the heat for a minute and then return it to the heat and continue cooking.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Put the candy thermometer aside.
Add the almond extract to the hot candy and mix well.
Add the almond flour to the hot candy gradually and mix well. Try to do this within one or at most two minutes to avoid having the candy become hard while still in the saucepan.
Pour the candy onto the buttered cookie sheet prepared earlier.
Smooth the mixture over the surface of the cookie sheet evenly with a fork and allow the Almond Crunch to cool to room temperature.
Chop the cooled Almond Crunch into large pieces by pressing down on it using both hands with a meat cleaver. Then break the Almond Crunch into irregular bite size pieces, again using the meat cleaver.
Put multiple pieces of Almond Crunch into each of six, two or three cup size vacuum sealing bags, and vacuum seal the Almond Crunch to keep it fresh.
Enjoy! Kids will love this candy. Older kids too!