Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Almond Honey Caramel Chews

These candies might just be the best thing to ever come out of my kitchen. Better than the sugar almonds. Better than any cookie I've ever made. Heck, better than anything to come off of my grill.

The flavor and texture is incredible. A little crunchy when you first bite into them that dissolves into a wonderful caramel and almond chewy candy with a hint of honey. These are perfect for a party, be it a Super Bowl party or just having friends over.

These are not hard to make, they just take time. The cooking process is slow so there is no worrying about the candy heating or cooling too fast.

Almond Honey Caramel Chews
from page 193 of the The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelleby Kate Zuckerman

Makes about 50 candy pieces

14 oz. (about 4 cups) sliced, blanched almonds
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 sticks (16 Tbls.) butter
3/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbls. light corn syrup

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. They are done when their color is brown and there is a noticeable nutty smell. Take out of the oven and place in a bowl.

Prepare a 12x8 inch pan (or a pan with a similar area) by greasing the pan and placing parchment or aluminum foil on the bottom.

In a heavy bottomed pan with a candy thermometer attached, combine all the ingredients but the almonds and heat over medium-high heat. Make sure the pan can hold four or five times the initial ingredients. I used a 4 qt. pan and it nearly overflowed when it reached the boiling point. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once the color changes to a light golden brown, reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until the temperature reaches 260° F, stirring about every two minutes. Once it reaches 260° F, remove the pan from the heat.

Fold in the almonds. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan. Bake the candy for 10-12 minutes. It is done when air bubbles appear all over the candy. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for at least 4 hours.

Carefully cut the cooled candy into desired shapes.

Also appearing at Sugar Savvy.

A real treat, Kate Zuckerman found my site and left suggestions for variations of these candies! Check out her comment in the comment section and her wonderful site PastryChat. She mentions my attempt at her recipe here. Very cool!


brian said...

Hi Paul, these look really interesting. I'm not a huge fan of honey--I like it when it is subtle, but with so much butter (2 sticks!) and the almonds, it makes sense that the honey flavor was just a hint. They look a little on the wet-gooey side, but I would expect that from honey. I'll bet these will be a hit at the superbowl party.

Paul said...

Hey Brian, thanks for stopping by. Yeah, these weren't strong with honey flavor. Mine actually came out crisp and hard out of the pan but melted and became chewy once you bit into one.

These were very popular.

Mimi said...

Oh, they look so gooey. I want.

Paul said...

Hey Mimi, very gooey. So good...

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul:

Thanks for making the chews! I love them, too -- and yours look wonderful. I make them at cooking classes all the time. If you want to try a variation, try replacing the almonds with pecans or with roasted unsalted peanuts, and then sprinkle sea salt on the top of each square: so good!

And if you're into candied zests, you can always add some kind of citrus zest, which adds an interesting flavor. This time of year citrus is abundant.

Happy baking.

Kate Zuckerman

Paul said...

Wow, thanks for the suggestions Kate! I have to say, I love your book and look forward to trying other items from your book, especially some of the ice creams. Well, at least when the temperature outside is higher than the temperature in my freezer!

Anonymous said...

can you give me any ideas on how to make these so they can be individually wrapped, are they too gooey for that ? also, I tried making some from another recipe and they had a layer of corn syrup under the top layer of caramel, can I fix this ? re cook? or make into syrup/sauce? Wendy