"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
December 10, 2013
Almond Brittle with a Twist
by Joni Hilton

I hate candy thermometers.  There.  I've said it.  I like candy I can make without trying to clamp a thermometer onto the side of the pot, at which point it either falls in, touches the bottom and gives me a false reading, or ends up stickier than all get-out and nearly impossible to clean (usually all three).

So you can imagine my glee when I discover a candy I can make just by EYEBALLING it!  That's my kind of cooking, Honey.

I also like to give recipes a twist.  In this case, there are actually THREE twists.  The first is that it's so easy my mentally challenged Chihuahua could make it (no thermometer!).  The second is that I've added a spicy kick (optional), and the third is that I've drizzled it with chocolate, something that should be a law, don't you think?

And this time I've added 7 photos, something I have never done!  Granted, they will not be appearing soon in “National Geographic,” but pretend I took them with my cell phone.  Okay, you don't have to pretend; I did take them with my cell phone.

This candy makes as wonderful Christmas gift, too (as do my 22 books — you can see them here).  Cut the recipe in half, if you want a smaller amount.

So here we go:

2 sticks butter
2 Tbsp. white corn syrup
2 Cups slivered almonds
1 Cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1/4 Cup dark chocolate pieces (use the best quality you can)

Place several strips of foil on a work surface.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, stir butter, syrup, almonds, sugar, and pepper.

It will melt into a mixture that looks like this.

Stir it until it turns the color of caramel.  If you like a harder, less sweet toffee, cook it until it browns a bit more.

Pour the mixture onto the foil, spreading it as thinly as you can.  Cool.

Warm chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl just until it begins to melt.  Stir the pieces and the heat from them will melt each other.  Once melted, dip a fork into the chocolate, then fling it back and forth over the brittle, to create streaks of chocolate.  Don't go crazy with the flinging; your fridge does not need a chocolate coating.

Let harden, then break into chunks. Wrap in a tin, a box, or a cellophane bag.  Tie with a fluffy bow and you have a great gift to give.

This one is for Janet Barton, whose darling daughter, Tiffany, married my son, Cassidy, last year.  Janet is an amazing food blogger who just happens to make the most PERFECT candy truffles in the universe and I am not kidding, so it's intimidating to give her anything from the kitchen. 

However, she loves nuts, spicy foods, and dark chocolate, so I'm hoping she will enjoy these treats as she concocts her next fantastic dish.  Did I mention she's also a marathon runner, younger and thinner than me, and, and, and?  Sigh.

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About Joni Hilton

Joni is an award-winning playwright, the author of 20 books, holds a master of fine arts degree in professional writing from USC, and is frequently published in major magazines. Tune in to her radio advice show at AM1380, at 9 a.m. Pacific Time, on saturday mornings.

A former TV talk show host in Los Angeles, she is also a TV spokeswoman across the U.S. for various corporations, and highly in demand as a public speaker.

Hilton writes for Music and The Spoken Word for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and is a columnist for Meridian Magazine.

Hilton's books can be found at Goodreads, CreateSpace, Amazon, Deseret Book, and at MormonAuthors. Reviews are also available at these same sites.

She is founder and former CEO of Holy Cow, an organic line of cleaning products, the winner of dozens of cooking contests, and a former model and Miss California. She is married to TV personality Bob Hilton, and they are the parents of four children.

Feel free to follow Joni at Twitter and on Facebook. Her website is at http://cookingwithjoni.blogspot.com/.

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