posted in Candy

Almond Roca

I’ve been a busy little candy maker lately, anticipating the desire for holiday gifting. So far, I’ve made truffles, peanut brittle, fudge and this Almond Roca.

The almond roca is my favorite. My TOTAL favorite. My CRAZY-ADDICTING favorite! The best part is- you will NOT need a candy thermometer for this recipe! yahoo-easy!

Here’s how you make it…

Sprinkle 3/4 cup chopped and toasted almonds into the bottom of a buttered 7×11-inch glass pan.  I realize everyone doesn’t have a 7×11-inch pan, so you can certainly use a 9×12-inch if you need to… it will just be more spread out and thinner.  I used salted, roasted almonds (and then toasted them in a dry frying pan after chopping).  You can use unsalted natural almonds if you don’t care for the salty-sweet combination in dessert.

Melt some butter in a medium saucepan.

Add brown sugar, and stir it up.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Not a wild, rolling boil… just enough of a boil where you see bubbles popping frequently.

Boil the butter/sugar mixture for 12 minutes exactly (stirring constantly).  It should look all cool and golden and toffee-like when it’s done.  I made mine without a candy thermometer with success, but since some readers have noted having trouble with this recipe- you might wish to stick and instant read thermometer in there just to make sure it’s about the right temperature.  Pull it off the heat when it has reached the hard-crack stage (300 degrees F)  or when the mixture starts to separate (the oil starts to separate from the sugar).   If it gets higher than 320, the mixture will not remain solid.

Pour it on top of the almonds in the pan– drizzling it all over and and filling in all of the spaces with the toffee.

Place four chocolate bars on top of the hot toffee.

Let them sit there for a minute or so and get all gooey and melted, then use the bottom of a spoon to spread the chocolate around.

Spread all the way to the edges.

Sprinkle more almonds on top.  Press them in gently.  Now’s the hard part.  You can either let this sit at room temperature overnight to set that chocolate completely, or you can refrigerate it until firm, or you can freeze it for about 20 minutes (until firm).

Once the mixture is firm and set, loosen the sides of the pan with a knife and the toffee should pop right out of the pan in one, big hunk.  Break it apart gently with your hands, or set it on a cutting board and use a large knife to cut across the slab of candy–wedges will break off and appear in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Sample!  Just to make sure everything is tasting okay and everything 😉

It’s best to get this out of your house as quickly as possible.  On candy-making day at my house, this was the favorite of all of my taste testers… by far.  SO good.  And SO addicting and buttery and almondy and salty-sweet and delicious.

This should keep just fine in a sealed container kept at room temperature for a couple of weeks.  Happy holiday gifting!

Yield: 3 cups

Prep Time: 18 min

Cook Time: 15 min

Almond Roca

So simple and delicious, but it can be a little tricky. Please read all of the comments and tips before attempting your first batch! We've been making this recipes for years for the holidays and we love it!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups chopped toasted almonds, divided
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
4 bars of chocolate (such as Hershey's Bars)

Directions:

1. Butter a 7x11-inch pan (or 9x12 for slightly thinner roca). Sprinkle 1 cup of toasted almonds on bottom of the pan.

2. In heavy saucepan at medium-high heat melt butter and add brown sugar. Stir until gently boiling. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low and boil 12 minutes exactly, stirring constantly. *Edited to add* I made mine without a candy thermometer with success, but since some readers have noted having trouble with this recipe- you might wish to stick and instant read thermometer in there just to make sure it's about the right temperature. Pull it off the heat when it has reached the hard-crack stage (300 degrees F)- or when the mixture starts to separate (the oil starts to separate from the sugar). If it gets higher than 320, it will not remain solid.

3. Remove the mixture from heat, give it a good stir to mix up that butter and sugar one more time, and immediately pour hot mixture into pan over almonds. (see *Tips below) Place chocolate bars on top. Let them sit a minute or so until melted, then spread chocolate around carefully. Sprinkle with remaining toasted almonds and gently press them into the chocolate..

4. Cool completely, and then break apart into chunks with a sharp knife. Store in a covered container.

Tips:

*This recipe is gluten-free adaptable- just be sure to use a brand of chocolate that is known to be GF.

*If you like the sweet-salty combination in desserts, use roasted almonds that are salted (then you can chop them and toast them lightly in a dry frying pan). If you don't care to have much salt, use unsalted natural almonds. I went for the salty kind and LOVED it.

*If you don't have a 7x11-inch pan, it's okay to use a 9x12-inch pan. You probably won't want to go all the way to the edges with the almonds, toffee and chocolate or it will be thin. Leave about an inch all the way around.
*Speed up the cooling process by placing the pan in the refrigerator.

*If you are in a place where it is very humid, you will likely have trouble getting your toffee to set. Toffee doesn't like humidity. Try it on a dry day!

*Edited to add that some people have trouble w/ the chocolate separating from the toffee. This is kind of normal in almond roca since the toffee is so buttery. I've been told that one way to avoid that is to give the toffee a light dusting of cocoa powder before placing the chocolate bars on top. The powder apparently acts as an absorbent for the butter and allows the chocolate to adhere more easily to the toffee. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm told that it works!

Source: RecipeGirl.com

164 Responses to “Almond Roca”

  1. postedDec 24, 2013 4:03 AM
    Stephanie

    Help please I need some help I made this last night and my toffee came out chewy was wondering if I cooked too long or not long enough? You can email me back I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks

    • December 24th, 2013 @ 6:19 AM

      It sounds like the toffee did not cook long enough.

  2. postedDec 24, 2013 3:40 PM
    Heather

    So I tried the recipe according to your “printable” recipe and it failed miserably. The butter and sugar remained separated the entire cooking process, even with constant stirring, it reached the 300 mark and burned. I tried again and realized a huge difference is that instead of melting the butter first as it says in the printable recipe directions and then adding the brown sugar, it works best to melt sugar and butter together (more like I saw in your picture directions). That way the sugar and butter combined together right from the start and create the nice gooey toffee that I saw in your pictures.

  3. postedJan 3, 2014 6:28 AM
    Beth w

    I’ve been making almond roca for years–got the recipe from a family friend. My mom tried a few times and she failed, so i am now the family almond roca maker.

    A few comments–my recipe is 2 cups of white sugar and one pound of butter. I always buy unsalted butter, but you need salted for this to work. I always have to add 1/2 tsp salt to my butter, so with Lori’s recipe, you may need to add 1/4 tsp salt if using unsalted butter.

    I also don’t use a candy thermometer, but the watching the toffee is key. Again, this might be slightly different since this recipe calls for brown sugar, but the mixture usually will initially be separated, then come together and really be kind of sticking to itself in the pan. When I swirl it with my wooden spoon, it all kind of moves together. I know it’s ready when the mixture starts sticking again to the edges of the pan itself of just sticking all to itself. For me, it can take from 15-25 minutes to make (on medium heat), and it’s really just something i have to watch in the pan and judge when it’s starting to stick to the edges of the pan that it’s done.

    I always use semi-sweet chocolate chips and dump them on shortly after (~5 min) I pour the toffee into my jelly roll pan. Generally I only make this for Christmas, so i usually just put the pan out in the garage to cool. When I did make it for friends in May, I put the pan in the freezer to cool. I would be hesitant to mail it to people in the summertime for fears of it melting.

    One final note–store it in its own container, not with other Christmas cookies. I’d never had this happen until this year, but I stored the almond roca with other Christmas cookies to make a cookie plate, and the toffee ended up soft (should be nice and hard). Still tasted ok, but not at all like I wanted it to be. 😉

    Also, i have family with nut allergies, so I’ve been making “almond” roca without almonds the past few years. Maybe this now technically is a “brickle”–just toffee and chocolate, but it’s still almond roca to me. 🙂

  4. postedJan 6, 2014 9:21 AM
    Meital

    Hi,
    this looks great, but I’m a vegan. Any idea if I can use coconut oil instead? Or even cocoa butter?
    Thanks.

    • January 9th, 2014 @ 8:22 AM

      I am not familiar at all w/ Vegan cooking- sorry!

  5. postedJan 6, 2014 9:27 AM
    Aleli Soliman

    Mine turned out ugly but will retry this recipe. I must have over boiled the butter/sugar mixture and did not stir it constantly. Not giving up =).

  6. postedJan 6, 2014 4:14 PM
    Susan F.

    Oh, this is very dangerous!!! I’m trapped inside and have all the ingredients to make this. Our can of Almond Rocha just ran dry. Think I will love this!!!!!!!! Thank You

  7. postedJan 7, 2014 12:55 AM
    Anastasia

    Is it supposed to be crispy or shewy? Can’t tell.

    • January 9th, 2014 @ 8:20 AM

      Almond Roca is a crunchy candy.

  8. postedOct 18, 2014 10:50 AM
    Brian

    Great Recipe! Like everyone else I made a tweak or two. I used chocolate chips for the top and pushing them down seems to keep the separation away. Second, I added a tablespoon of light corn syrup just to control unwanted crystallization.

  9. postedOct 28, 2014 10:19 AM
    Kim

    I was trying to remind myself of the proportions of butter to sugar for almond roca as I’ve misplaced my recipe when I came across your page. I’d never tried using brown sugar, I may just have to. 🙂 Also, I’ve noticed quite a few references of what temp to cook to for hard crack. In my experiences of making almond roca, 180-190 F is an ideal temp to aim for to avoid burning and separation while still getting that nice crunch. I’ve also noticed that rushing the cooking process by turning up the heat will give a blonder toffee than if the temp is brought up more slowly with a lower temp. It also will lack in the toasted flavor if cooked faster. I’ve always used a 60% dark chocolate chip (ghiradelli) with excellent results and no issues with the chocolate falling off. I also seem to always forget the salt and haven’t had an issue with set up of the toffee. I’m off to try my hand at substituting brown sugar to see how that changes things. 🙂 Maybe I’ll try a batch with white sugar and maple syrup too. Mmmmm, maple toffee sounds good…

  10. postedOct 29, 2014 11:53 AM
    Kim

    I was trying to remind myself of the proportions of butter to sugar for almond roca as I’ve misplaced my recipe when I came across your page. I’d never tried using brown sugar, I may just have to. 🙂 I’ve noticed that rushing the cooking process by turning up the heat will give a blonder toffee than if the temp is brought up more slowly with a lower temp. It also will lack in the toasted flavor if cooked faster. I’ve always used a 60% dark chocolate chip (ghiradelli) with excellent results and no issues with the chocolate falling off (as long as I let the toffee cool for 10 min. before putting on the chocolate). I also seem to always forget the salt and haven’t had an issue with set up of the toffee. I’m off to try my hand at substituting brown sugar to see how that changes things. 🙂 Maybe I’ll try a batch with white sugar and maple syrup too. Mmmmm, maple toffee sounds good…

  11. postedOct 31, 2014 2:27 PM

    I love a great toffee recipe that I don’t have to use my candy thermometer! I am making this as my “bring” for our Thanksgiving reunion! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

  12. postedNov 26, 2014 1:04 AM
    Heather

    What size Hershey bars do you use. Could you possibly use chocolate chips.

    • November 26th, 2014 @ 8:36 AM

      just the regular-size. I have not tried using chocolate chips.

  13. postedDec 15, 2014 11:43 AM
    Cupcakes702

    This did NOT work for me at all. I did follow the recipe, and I stayed with the boil until right at 300* F, but this turned out dark chocolate brown, and the butter never did incorporate. It remained seperated, and resulted in a fat puddle around the pouring. It was a bitter, awful mess. Yuck.

    • December 15th, 2014 @ 7:57 PM

      Sorry about that- candy making can be tricky! Sorry it was a fail for you.

  14. postedDec 19, 2014 10:35 AM
    Vanessa

    Just made 6 batches of this and every one turned out great! Thanks for the awesome and easy recipe

  15. postedDec 21, 2014 2:13 PM
    Larissa

    HERE IS THE FIX: Many of you had the same problem as me. I adjusted three times until I finally got it right on the 4th attempt. The problem I was having is getting too hot too quickly. My oven is gas and I had to have all the way to low in order for this to not burn and be able to make it to 12 minutes to the hard crack stage. Once your sugar and butter starts to boil, immediately being it down to low…this stuf does not cool off quickly and it will hold that boiling heat throughout. If it does separate, keep stirring, it will reincorporate. This stuff is amazing!

  16. postedDec 22, 2014 12:48 PM
    Brook

    Holy Doodle! This stuff is good! And soooooo easy! I am definitely making this every year from here on out! Thank-you. My spirit thanks you. My thighs and hips NOT!

  17. postedDec 22, 2014 5:04 PM
    Jodi

    So I’ve been making this recipe for the last year and a half with no problems, until recently the butter and sugar begins to separate at 250 degrees instead of at 300 degrees. I’ve tried lowering the temperature down to medium low to low and it’s still happening, anyone got any ideas on how to fix this ?

  18. postedJan 3, 2015 2:58 PM
    confection man

    to everyone that has a problem with the butter separating too early, she forgot to mention you have to stir this constantly i used to make this all the time, but havent for awhile till recently. i had always stirred constantly, however i now have a 2 year old who likes to “help” cook. this last time he was distracting me and when i went back to stir the roca again it started separating Way too early i vigorously started stirring it and luckily saved it. i also normally use sugar instead of brown sugar, but im looking forward to trying it with brown sugar. if you eat too much of my normal sugar roca it gets stuck in your teeth im hoping that the brown sugar makes it more like brown and haley’s.

  19. postedSep 9, 2015 1:59 AM

    Greetings from France, Recipe Girl!

    Just tried this recipe last night, this morning it was set, and I ate almost half of it for breakfast. It’s amazing, just like the real thing, or maybe better!

    I was a bit scared when I read the comments but it’s just common sense in the end: you adjust the temperature if it seems too hot or not enough, you stir more or less depending on the consistency, and exactly 12 minutes later (as the recipe says) it’s done.

    Fantastic, thank you so much!

  20. postedDec 8, 2015 4:04 PM
    Naoko

    I made this for a cookie exchange today and it was a huge hit. My husband loves it as well. I always loved Almond Roca, but they don’t sell them in Ireland where I live now. I was so happy to see this on Pinterest. I will be making these again for sure! Thank you so much for sharing a great recipe. 

  21. postedDec 23, 2015 5:40 PM
    Crystal Brown

    My first attempt was dismal….I clearly boiled the mixture at too high heat and it separated.  My next attempt was much better.  I didn’t have the Hershey Bars but had a bag of Chocolate Chips instead.  I’m not sure it was as rich.  On my next try I will use a cookie sheet and make it thinner.  Even with a 11X13 pan it was too thick.

  22. postedDec 26, 2015 5:20 PM
    Terry

    I got here through Pinterest.  I have, for the first time ever, been reading all the comments to this recipe!  Oh my, an intelligent blog with intelligent and articulate readers!  I will be back! ????

  23. postedMay 5, 2016 4:12 PM
    Lisa

    I googled “toasted almond desserts” and found this blog post. I made the recipe just as you described and it turned out amazing. Thank you 🙂

  24. postedOct 22, 2016 8:20 PM
    Bludiamondrain

    I MADE this and it came out perfect! Thank you!

  25. postedDec 16, 2016 6:29 PM
    Jan

    Hi Lori ..After many failed attempts at Almond Roca…your recipe is GREAT!!! I didn’t need a candy thermometer. I did line the pan with tin foil which works very well. Thanks so much. This will be my go to recipe. Happy Christmas!!!

    • December 17th, 2016 @ 7:54 AM

      oh good, glad to hear!

  26. postedDec 21, 2016 2:39 PM
    Jan

    This is such a great recipe…don’t know why some people are having a problem with it! I lined my pan with foil. You really do need to keep stiring it, No candy thermometer needed, either. Thanks

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