Writing and reporting to you through this blog each weeks puts weight on this home cooks shoulders. It requires me to constantly continue learning and leave nothing ordinary. That is why I had to find a treat that would top the usual Halloween candy (for my guests not the trick-0r-treaters). When I saw Giada make these candies on the show – showcasing a sweet and savory combination in chewy form – I knew it was the perfect recipe for Halloween. I was nervous about making caramel but it couldn’t have been easier. I highly recommend these for the approaching holiday season. You will receive the ultimate rants and raves in return.
Smoked Almond Turtles by Giada De Laurentiis
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- 1 cup (5 ounces) coarsely chopped smoked almonds
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3/4 cup bittersweet (60 percent cacao) chocolate chips (recommended: Ghiradelli)
Assembly: Spray a 12-count muffin pan, liberally, with vegetable oil cooking spray. Put the almonds in the bottom of each muffin cup and set aside.
For the caramel: In a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the cream, butter, sugar, and water. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 240 degrees F, about 5 to 7 minutes. Let the mixture cool for 30 seconds. Using a long-handled, metal spoon, carefully spoon the caramel over the nuts. Allow the caramel to harden, at room temperature, for 1 hour.
Put the chocolate chips in a medium stainless steel or glass bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted, about 4 minutes. Spoon the chocolate over the caramel and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Using a thin-bladed spatula, remove the turtles from the pan (caramel will be hard). Let the turtles stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour (to allow the caramel to soften) before serving.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature