Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The local co-op in my town has one of the largest bulk sections I have ever seen in a grocery store: two large walls FULL of containers of various flours, nuts, grains, spices, and so much more. Walking through this aisle, I feel like a kid in a candy shop or a Carrie Bradshaw in a Mahnolo Blahnik store. Have you ever walked out of a shoe sale and painfully wondered how you just managed to spend hundreds on a pair of strappy stilletos or knee-high boots? Well, I haven't, but too many times I have walked out of this co-op wondering how I spent $50 on a bunch of groceries, most of which cannot be eaten without first being baked or cooked.
Although my main weaknesses are the bulk flours and grains, I also cannot resist the bulk almond brittle. 8 bucks a pound will get you the yummiest locally grown almonds, roasted, and smothered in a sugary-buttery caramel coating. Oh. My.
This here is my attempt to recreate this almond treat; because although kids can't make candy (not any that I know of, anyway) and Carrie Bradshaw can't make shoes, I CAN make almond brittle, and I did.
Although this brittle is a bit different than the one at my co-op (their's is more like caramel-covered almonds than brittle), I think it is just as good (maybe even better). It is sweet without being overly so, crunchy and not at all chewy, and extremely satisfying. Now, if only I could make my own flour, I'd be set!
*1 cup white sugar
*1/2 cup brown sugar
*1/2 cup butter
*3 tablespoons water
*3 cups whole almonds (or use 3 cups peanuts)
1. In a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the sugars, butter, and water. Stir the mixture constantly to prevent scorching. Using a candy thermometer and medium heat, bring the mixture to 300 degrees. Do not stir. The temperature will rise as the water is boiled off, and this can happen quickly, so be prepared to lower the heat or remove the candy from the heat as needed.
2. As soon as the mixture reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the stove and add the nuts. Mix until all nuts are coated. Pour the nut mixture onto a greased cookie sheet and separate the nuts. Let cool for at least 15 minutes, then break into pieces.