Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Candy: Maple Almond Brittle

Nothing says Christmas like an indulgent edible gift for family and friends. Pecan Pralines (for my Louisianna born relatives) and a layered white and dark chocolate Peppermint bark are becoming main-stays, but each year I like to reach out and try something new and interesting (to me). This years theme has become candy making. Tonight I tried my hand at Divinity (clouds of airy sugary bliss) which turned into a giant blob of goo on my cookie sheet. Reading some articles on this treat I found that apparently EVERY southern woman knows that you don't make devinity when it is humid. I live in Houston!!! When is it NOT humid?? (5 days until Christmas and I was finishing up my shopping in a t-shirt, skirt and flip-flops.) Being a Texas transplant I guess I have a lot to learn.
In my atempt to save the evenings .goal of making a sweet treat, and inspired by my recent trip to Montreal and new found love of maple syrup, I decided to make Maple Almond Brittle . (Humidity be damned!). I used Montreal Maple Syrup and lacking the proper amount of almonds, I used an almond and pecan mix.

Maple Syrup, Sugar, and Corn Syrup bubbling away...
Brittle Cooling
Recipe (from Gourmet Magazine):
Maple Almond Brittle
1 1/2 cups Grade B maple syrup
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups sliced unblanched almonds, toasted lightly
In a heavy saucepan combine the maple syrup, the corn syrup, the salt, and the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil over moderate heat, stirring and washing down any sugar crystals clinging to the side with a brush dipped in cold water, and boil the mixture, undisturbed, until it registers 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Stir in the almonds quickly and pour the mixture onto an oiled marble slab or a baking sheet lined with foil. Spread the mixture as thin as possible with a metal spatula and let it cool. Break the almond brittle into serving pieces.