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Bring an Italian Christmas tradition to the dessert table this season with a recipe from Italy! Croccante di Mandorle is one of our favorite sweets. The almond brittle is most often made and served in southern Italy, where children enjoy it each holiday season.
While the recipe is a simple one, be careful with the sugar melting, as it can easily burn. If that does happen, it will add a bitter taste to the sweetness. But if you make it just right, the almond brittle is divine, and it melts in the mouth!
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To truly make this an Italian experience – similar to what you’d experience during a cooking class or culinary vacation – be sure to enjoy the croccante di mandorle with an espresso!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cook method: Caramelize
1. Place the almonds on a baking pan, and allow them to cook in a preheated oven for about 5 minutes, or until they’re fragrant.
2. Remove from the oven and cut half of the almonds into smaller pieces. Keep the other half of almonds whole.
3. Pour all 250 grams of sugar into a saucepan, add just a touch of water, and cook over high heat while continuously stirring with a wooden spoon. Allow it to melt and become a deep rich brown color. This will take about 10 minutes, but keep a close eye on it.
4. Quickly mix together the almonds with the melted sugar. Mix this together well for a couple minutes, to ensure that the almonds are well coated and everything is combined well.
5. Immediately pour this mixture over a cookie sheet.
6. Using a lemon that’s been sliced in half, spread out the mixture over the cookie sheet until it reaches your desired thickness.
7. Allow the croccante to cool for about 20 minutes. Once it’s cooled, you can then break it into pieces using a knife (since it’s brittle, it’s hard to break apart, so we do recommend a heavy knife).
8. Decorate the croccante with small colored candies, which is also known as diavulli in Naples. Use as many sprinkles as you’d like!
By Peg Kern
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