Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Holiday Almond Roca
One of our family’s Christmas traditions was going to the Brown & Haley candy factory in Tacoma, Washington, where we bought white boxes of candy filled with Almond Roca and an assortment of other chocolates, including three flavors of Mountain Bars. Their motto “Brown & Haley makes ‘em daily” still jingles in my mind.
Harry L Brown met J. C. Haley at a church in Tacoma, starting their famous candy company in 1912. Eleven years of experimentation took place before the “crunchy, log-shaped candy piece infused with butter and coated with chocolate and diced almonds” was given the legendary name of Almond Roca® by a local librarian. Today, the foil-wrapped butter crunch toffee in pink tins is famous worldwide.
One Christmas, imagine my family's delight when a neighbor presented us with a holiday plateful of delicious homemade cookies and candy, including Almond Roca. Needless to say, we asked Mrs. Joyce Baker for her recipe and I want to share it with you!
1 lb. butter
2 tbsp. light Karo syrup (Use the full calorie kind, the low calorie “lite” won’t work)
2 c. white sugar
1 c. chopped almonds (after dipping in chocolate, roll in nut coating)
1 c. gr. almonds (mixed into the candy)
3 lg. Hershey milk chocolate 7 oz. bars (melted). Add approximately 1 tbsp. paraffin, the kind used to seal jelly jars, to the chocolate before melting. It helps the chocolate coating stick and harden on the candy.
Melt butter and bring it to a boil.
Add Karo syrup and sugar, bringing the mixture to a rolling boil. Boil 5 minutes, then add cut-up almonds and boil to hard crack stage, stirring constantly. A silicon flat-edged scraper works well.
Pour the mixture into a greased shallow pan with sides. I use an 11” x 16” jelly roll pan. Score with a knife when partly cool.
When hard, break it into pieces, and cover the pieces with melted chocolate using a double-boiler or microwave and roll in nuts.
NOTE: I chop a 12 oz. pkg. of almonds in a blender, using the same size for inside the candy and for its coating.
What kind of Christmas candy do you make for your family? Here’s wishing you all a sweet holiday as we celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas!
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