Dark Chocolate Buttercrunch1 c (2 sticks, 1 lb) salted butter
1 ½ c (12 oz) sugar
1 T corn syrup
3 T water
2 c (8 oz) diced pecans or slivered almonds, toasted
1 lb semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- In a large, deep saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar, water and corn syrup, and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Boil gently, over medium heat, until the mixture reaches hard-crack stage (300°F on an instant-read or candy thermometer), about 20 minutes. The syrup will seem to take a long time to come to the hard-crack stage, but be patient; all of a sudden it will darken, and at that point you need to take its temperature and see if it's ready. (If you don’t have a thermometer, test a dollop in ice water; it should immediately harden to a brittleness sufficient that you'll be able to snap it in two, without any bending or softness). If you stop too soon, you'll have candy that sticks vehemently to your teeth. Too long, and the syrup will burn and you'll need to start over.
- While the sugar mixture is gently bubbling, spread half of the toasted nuts, in a fairly closely packed, even, single layer, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Don't crowd the nuts too closely, just spread them thinly but evenly. Too closely = small platform for buttercrunch = too thick buttercrunch.
- Top the layer of nuts with half the chocolate. Just drizzle it over; no need to spread it.
- When the syrup is ready, pour it quickly and evenly over the nuts and chocolate. Immediately top with the remaining chocolate, then the remaining nuts.
- Wait several minutes, then gently, using the back of a spatula, press down on the chocolate-nut layer to spread the chocolate around evenly.
- While the candy is still slightly warm,use a spatula to loosen it from the baking sheet.
- When cool, break it into uneven chunks. Catch any slivers and powdery bits & use as ice cream topping.