Straight from my Grandma Guyll’s cookbook (pronounced “Gwill”), here’s a delightful treat that will leave your friends and family eagerly anticipating its arrival each year! Despite the distance between us, my grandma’s colored popcorn balls and oversized sugar cookies shaped like flying saucers were yearly highlights for my family, while Mom and Dad savored Grandma’s Walnut Roca. While it may be a bit costly to prepare, I’ve got some money-saving tips for you, and there are two variations to choose from: one with crushed walnuts and another with sliced almonds. Technically, it’s English Toffee, but we always referred to it as Almond Roca, a term associated with a well-known holiday candy available for purchase. Just a word of caution: be mindful, as it has the potential to loosen your dental crowns if you’re not careful!
I own my grandmother’s cherished cookbook, a true treasure she left behind! Though a bit on the messy side, I’ll simplify and share the easiest version I’ve perfected over countless batches. Jay and I have turned it into an assembly line process, practically a science at this point. Living in Texas, crafting this candy is relatively straightforward, but I’ve noticed that humidity and altitude can play a negative role in the outcome. The challenge arises because this particular confection requires a gradual heating process until it reaches the brink of a hard crack temperature. In regions with high humidity or altitude, it can be a bit tricky. Unfortunately, I can’t offer guidance on adjusting for altitude, but if you find yourself in a humid or tropical locale, perhaps enlist a friendly neighbor to enjoy the rejects until you’ve mastered the technique! With practice, you’ll become an expert in ideal appearance and taste by judging the perfect moment to turn off the heat, and soon enough, you’ll be an expert like me, effortlessly churning out large quantities for delightful gifts.
You will need:
- 1 Candy Thermometer (should have labeled candy temperatures on it. This will make it a lot easier)
- 1 lb salted butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 T Light Karo syrup
- 6 T water
- 1 t Vanilla
- Package of Chocolate Almond Bark (best place to purchase is Wal-Mart)
- Large bag of finely chopped walnuts or sliced almonds
- Boxes or tins to hold the candy as gifts
- Melt butter in large stockpot, add sugar. Heat on medium constantly stirring. Add karo syrup and water.
- As time goes on it will carmelize slowly. Keep stirring and moving to prevent burning. Watch out this can burn very easily. I have thrown out several batches after walking away for just a minute! Add candy thermometer as soon as the butter and sugar mesh back together after separation.
- You are looking for around 295 degrees to 300 degrees. This will take around 30 minuts. Once you see it at hard crack -295 degrees it will start to climb quickly. Turn off the heat and add the vanilla. Stir.
- Dump the candy onto a cookie sheet quickly. The cookie sheet does not have to be greased. it won’t stick. Give it around 5 minutes to start to harden.
- In the meantime take 2 squares of almond bark chocolate and stick in the microwave in a coffee cup. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Take a spoon and stir it around until it is melted enough to spread. Spread on top of the candy while it is still warm. Waiting for the candy to cool will cause the chocolate to separate from the candy later.
- Once you finish with the chocolate you can keep it just like that or top with the sliced almonds or finely chopped walnuts. Some people add the nuts to the actual candy but I find that is not necessary and ends up costing a lot more since the nuts are pricey. Also, you don’t have to cover the chocolate with nuts. They can be sparsley placed.
- If it is cold outside you can take your cookie sheets out on the porch to cool or put them in the freezer for quicker cooling period. After the chocolate hardens you simply take a kitchen knife and stab the candy until it cracks into small pieces. Fill up the containers and store in a freezer until you are ready to give them away. The candy can sit out at room temperature but I like to make it way ahead of time and keep in the freezer so it is fresh to give away.
I’ve been giving this away at our Christmas Family Events and each year everyone asks me if I brought the candy. It’s a huge hit!!
Here are all the supplies you can order below or purchase at your local grocer. Although you can order through the link below Wal-Mart has the best deal for the Chocolate Almond Bark!
PERFECT BOXES FOR YOUR GOODIES – These seem to be the perfect size to give as gifts.
KITCHEN AID CANDY THERMOMETER WITH CANDY STAGE REFERENCE
HAPPY BELLY AMAZON BRAND SALTED BUTTER – GREAT DEAL
BULK SUGAR IN RESEALABLE CONTAINER
LIGHT KARO CORN SYRUP
PURE MOLINA MEXICAN VANILLLA BLEND – GREAT DEAL
CHOCOLATE ALMOND BARK
HAPPY BELLY SLICED ALMONDS
FISHER CHOPPED WALNUTS