Why in the world would I decide to stand over a pot of boiling sugar on one of the hottest days of the summer??  You got me.  Sometimes I just think I am a glutton for punishment.  Or it’s just my serious addiction to challenging myself in the kitchen and seeing how much I can take before I start crying out of frustration.

I am happy to report that this particular experiment induced no tears or temper tantrums.  I have had caramel and fudge making sessions that make me want to throw my pans away and tell them that I will not play with them anymore.

I have always heard about how fussy Almond Roca/Homemade Heath Bars/Buttercrunch or whatever you choose to call the light and airy toffee coated with chocolate and sliced almonds is to make and so I was not expecting success on my first try.  This candy also seems like a Christmas confection to me, so I guess I was craving Christmas in July when I set out to make this buttery, sweet and slightly salty Buttercrunch.

I think the other reason I was excited to make this candy was that I recently received a Thermapen which if you are not familiar, is super fast digital thermometer that is highly accurate.  What I noticed about the Thermapen that is different than other thermometers that I have used is that even if I removed the thermometer from the candy and it cooled, almost immediately when I replaced it in the boiling sugar, it was giving me an accurate reading.  The reason that a quick and accurate temperature read is so important when making candy is that sugar goes from perfectly caramelized to scorched and bitter in a matter of seconds.  I also love the convenience of not having a cord that gets in my way while I am trying to be precise and quick.  The Thermapen is cordless and folds up compactly so that it is easy to keep track of in my kitchen gadget drawer.  I honestly feel that I owe much of my rookie success with making Buttercrunch to this extremely helpful kitchen tool!  Check out the Thermoworks company that makes the Thermapen here!

Chocolate Almond Buttercrunch

by Mercedes Porter

Keywords: dessert snack chocolate nuts candy

Ingredients (1 12X16-inch baking sheet)

  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/3 cups milk chocolate chips


Generously grease a 12X16-inch jelly roll pan.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.

Stir sugar, water and corn syrup into the melted butter and bring the mixture to a boil.  Allow the mixture to boil over medium heat until the temperature reaches 300 degrees on a thermometer.  This will take about 20 minutes.

While the mixture is boiling, spread half of the nuts and chocolate chips onto the greased pan in a single layer.

When the sugar mixture reaches 300 degrees, immediately pour it over the layer of chocolate and almonds.

Quickly top with remaining chocolate chips and almonds as evenly as possible.

After a few minutes, the hot candy will melt the chocolate and you can use a heat-resistant rubber spatula to spread the top chocolate layer smooth.

Allow to cool completely, then invert pan onto a clean counter and break candy into desired-sized pieces.

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

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 melt butter 

stir in water, sugar and corn syrup

bring mixture a boil and boil until mixture reaches 300 degrees

(I am aware that my thermometer does not read the desired temperature of 300 degrees in this photo, but I wanted to take a photo while I had time before the critical temperature was reached!)

while sugar mixture is boiling, spread half of almonds and half of chocolate chips onto greased pan

as soon as sugar mixture reaches 300 degrees, pour carefully onto pan over almonds and chocolate chips

sprinkle remaining almonds and chocolate chips over hot candy

after a few minutes, use spatula to spread melted chocolate evenly over candy

invert pan of candy carefully onto clean countertop and break into pieces

This candy would make wonderful gifts for the holidays, host(ess) gifts or a nice treat to send home with your party guests so that they think of the amazing party you hosted for them!

*Note:  Thermoworks provided me with a Thermapen to try and review, but all opinions expressed are, as always, my own.

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7 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Ella-Home Cooking Adventure
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 6:54 am

    Wow, these are looking incredible. Mu husband will surely love them. Thanks for sharing.


    • Mercedes
      Jul 27, 2012 @ 9:59 am

      Thank you Ella! I was so happy with how easy this candy is to make and it is so delicious! I hope you make it for your husband and you both enjoy it as much as I did!


  2. Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    Homemade heath bars?! This looks amazing – totally worth heating up the kitchen for! 🙂 Thanks for the Thermapen review – I need a good thermometer so I will look for one of these!


  3. kitchen esence
    Jul 27, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

    yum….. that looks good


    • Mercedes
      Jul 28, 2012 @ 10:14 am

      Thank you and thanks for stopping by!


  4. emily (a nutritionist eats)
    Jul 28, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    Heath is one of my favorite candies…especially with some ice cream!


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