I am not sure why this is the only time of the year when I make candy. I guess that it’s because everyone is doing it too. I have mentioned that my mother was not a good cook. She just didn’t have the time to spend in the kitchen because she was always working and meals were a chore. During the holidays and for my school bazaar, however, she became the captain of the candy making squad and the hyper, type A, competitive side of her took over. I never could figure out how someone who made meals so unappetizing and boring could reinvent herself to make amazing cookies, cakes and candy. This was one of her favorites. There are many many versions of this (Liz the Chef has a fabulous one) recipe, but I am proud of my mother’s . Don’t be put off by the inclusion of margarine. It does make a difference. Being a dairy daughter, I tried using all butter, but I like the margarine better. And, my mother always used a little corn syrup because she said it prevented the sugar from seizing up.
makes almost 5 pounds
16 ounces butter
16 ounces margarine
4 cups granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
for topping: 16 ounces chopped almonds
24 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate
1. Combine the butter, margarine, corn syrup, sugar, water and salt in a large pot and bring to a boil…don’t stir much.
2. Continue cooking until a candy thermometer registers 290 degrees F or passes the hard ball test (drop a bit of mix into cold water and if it forms a hard ball)
3. Remove from stove.
4. Pour the mixture on a silpat or an enameled pan or on marble and spread quickly before it sets.
5. Cool completely.
6. Pour and coat the surface with the melted chocolate and sprinkle with the chopped nuts. I use a two inch pastry brush and paint the chocolate on one side at a time and immediately coat with the chopped nuts.
7. Cool and flip over and repeat on the other side.
8. When completely cool, break into desired sized pieces.
9. Store in a sealed container.