Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cookie Exchange #5 - Old Timey Butter Crunch

Usually I'm all about the cookies, but this year I keep coming back to candy. Yet again we have another candy recipe - Old Timey Butter Crunch. Anything with the name Old Timey in it has to be good, right? And this is good. My husband was the biggest fan - he told me that it was his favorite thing I made today (and, yes, the only thing LOL). It's not very difficult, it just takes time between steps. And it takes a candy thermometer. I didn't have 2 cups of almonds, so I mixed almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans and it turned out just fine.

Old Timey Butter Crunch
1 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 Tbsp water
2 cups finely chopped toasted almonds
8 milk chocolate bars (1.55 oz each)
First, line a 13x9 pan with foil; set aside.  Next, I toasted my nut melange (in place of the 2 cups almonds) on the stove top, although you could toast them in the oven as well.  Toasting the nuts makes them a bit firmer and crunchier, which is nice in this candy.

Then, using part of the butter, grease the sides of a heavy saucepan.  Melt remaining butter over low heat; add sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Cook and stir over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 300 degrees (hard-crack stage).  Times will vary a lot, but as an example, it took about 10 minutes for my mixture to get there.  Watch carefully once you hit about 200 degrees, though, because then the mixture starts to heat quickly, and if you let it get over 300 degrees you'll have an irredeemable mess on your hands.  Remove from heat and stir in almonds.
Quickly pour into the prepared pan, spreading to cover bottom of pan.  Cool completely.  Carefully invert pan to remove candy in one piece (I placed another length of aluminum foil over the pan and then flipped it over onto the new aluminum foil).  Remove foil from (now) top.  Melt half of the chocolate in a double boiler; spread over top of candy.  Cool completely.  Turn candy over and repeat with remaining chocolate.  Cool completely.

Break into pieces by hand and store in airtight container.  Makes about 2 pounds of old timey goodness.