I must be in the Holiday Spirit if I’m sharing this recipe with you. It’s SUPPOSED to be a family secret (though a quick google search tells me this recipe is not exactly unique).
Growing up, Mom made this candy every year at Christmas time. I have vivid memories of watching her pour the toffee out onto foil on the counter tops, and having to keep my hands behind my back so I wouldn’t sneak any tastes. She made them for our teachers, and her prayer group friends, people from church. And it was always a special treat when she’d slip us a piece of it before wrapping it up.
For the past few years I’ve started making The Candy. I send some to John with work, or bring it to holiday parties. It’s a small thing, but it’s fun to feel connected to the other women in my family, past and present, who also continue to make this every year.
So, without further ado, Christmas Candy (as written by my mom):
From the kitchen of Cindy B.
- 1 lb butter (salted)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- ~1/2 lb chocolate candy (milk or dark, chips or chopped up bars)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
Have ingredients at room temperature. You will need a heavy saucepan, approximately 3 qt. capacity, and a wooden or silicone spoon to cook the candy. Have about 2 feet of aluminum foil laid out on a heat resistant surface to pour the candy out on, and a large metal tablespoon ready to spread the candy.
Over medium to medium-high heat (I use about 6.5 on my electric stove), bring the butter to a full, rolling boil. Add the sugar. The butter and sugar will be separate. Cook, stirring, until the mixture returns to a boil and comes together with no oil separated. Add the almonds. Continue to cook and stir (the mixture tends to scorch so be sure to cover the entire bottom of the pan with your stirring). The mixture may separate again (Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t – I have no idea why. It is harder to stir if it separates a lot, but doesn’t seem to affect the results.) Continue cooking until the mixture comes together again with no oil separated, and develops a rich caramel brown color (total cooking time is around 20 to 30 minutes). The almonds should look toasted. Pour out onto prepared foil, and quickly spread as thin as possible with large metal spoon. Place chocolate candy on top. When chocolate is melted spread evenly and sprinkle evenly with chopped walnuts. Allow to cool until chocolate has set. Break into pieces and store airtight.
Note: If almonds should start to get very brown before the mixture comes together, pour mixture onto foil immediately. Use paper towels to remove any excess oil before topping with chocolate.
Note (from Emily): This year my candy separated a LOT at the end, and I was worried it was ruined, but I continued to stir it once I’d moved it off the heat and it came together pretty well.