Poor Man’s Almond Roca
A bit of a misnomer, as this amazing sweet/salty, crunchy confection has no almonds in it, but this recipe was a staple of our formative years and probably originally came from our parents and grandparents experiences during the great depression (I know we are old right). We have seen many forms of this, but this is by far the easiest and most consistent to make. With thanks to Katherine Meyer for teaching us her version of this recipe.
You will need:
-A jelly roll pan
-A saucepot with a thicker bottom*
-A spoon to stir with*
-1 cup butter
-1 cup brown sugar
-12 ounces (1 bag or 2 cups) chocolate chips (we use semi-sweet)
-I box of soda crackers
-1 cup chopped walnuts
-Preheat your oven to 350
-Spread a single layer of crackers over the bottom of your jelly pan. Don’t worry about getting it perfect, but also don’t leave really big gaps.
-In your saucepot melt your butter completely (if it is taking a while stirring it will get it to melt faster)
-Add in your sugar and allow the mix to come to a boil.
-Once it comes to a boil take it off the heat and immediately pour it over the layer of crackers. Try to pour evenly but that basically means don’t just make a big pile in the middle of the pan.
– Put the jellyroll pan in your 350° oven and bake until it bubbles (5 or minutes)
-Pull the jelly roll out and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top.
-Put the pan back in the oven for 2 more minutes (don’t leave it in longer the chocolate will burn)
-Pull the pan out and with your spatula (we recommend a silicon spatula or silicon icing spatula for this) spread the chocolate evenly across the top. As with everything else this does not have to be perfect.
-Sprinkle on your chopped nuts.
-Let it sit to cool and harden.
-To serve it, you can cut it, or break off chunks and enjoy!
*Side note about equipment:
-It is tempting to buy cheap aluminum stockpots and sauce pans. These are fine for everyday cooking, but once you start making anything candy-like (or anything with the word reduction in the recipe) you will want to invest in a good thick bottomed pot. We like pots with a copper bottom as they heat more evenly, but we have a wide variety come ask us about them and we can point you to what you will feel the most comfortable using.
-If you are using a non-stick coating do not use a metal spoon. We highly recommend either a silicone spoon or our favorite cooking utensils are bamboo, which are highly sustainable and very water resistant so that they won’t get ruined if you leave them in the sink accidentally like normal wooden spoons.