Make Ahead

Croccante di Mandorle (AlmondĀ Brittle)

October 26, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes about 1 1/4 pounds
Author Notes

At every family Christmas gathering I can remember as a child, croccante di mandorle was always on the dessert table. Recently, I asked my mom how to make it, and she said "it's just sugar, water and almonds!" Sounded simple enough, so I did a little investigating and found a great video recipe on GialloZafferano's youtube channel, which I adapted. I've adjusted the amounts of sugar and nuts, and left the skins on the almonds because I think it's much more colorful and pleasing to the eye. The anise seeds gives the candy a subtle licorice flavor, which I love with almonds and citrus. Serve with an espresso. Sambuca optional. —mrslarkin

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups whole almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons anise seeds
  • one half of a fresh large lemon (optional, but fun)
  1. Line a quarter sheet pan, or small rectangular pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Place almonds on another parchment-lined sheet pan and lightly toast in a 350 degree oven until fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool. Chop about half of the almonds. I use my hinged lemon juicer to crush some of my nuts and it works quite well. Set almonds aside.
  3. Over medium/low heat, melt sugar, lemon juice and water in a large saute pan, using a wooden spoon to stir occasionally. When sugar has dissolved and is golden-blonde in color, turn off the heat and stir in the almonds and anise seeds. Mix well.
  4. Carefully pour the lava-hot nut mixture into the prepared pan. Using an oiled rubber spatula or lemon half, carefully spread the nut mixture out. The lemon half will impart a lovely lemony flavor to the brittle.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes, then cut into strips or squares. Optionally, let cool completely and break apart into rough shapes.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Idalu
  • mehrunnisa
  • hardlikearmour
  • lapadia
  • Bevi

13 Reviews

Idalu December 20, 2016
It is good but way too sweet and hard. Unless one is supposed to eat them warm, it can be a bit painful to bite.
mehrunnisa June 6, 2012
mrs larkin, thanks for the wonderful recipe. i tweaked it a bit to go the middle eastern way but the family loved it. just in case you are interested i made hazelnut croccante with sumac spice. the recipe is here with a credit to you
mrslarkin June 6, 2012
I'm honored you tried, and liked, the croccante, mehrunnisa! Thank you so much for the blog post, too.
mehrunnisa May 19, 2012
what should the consistency of the final croccante be like. really hard or slightly chewy?
mrslarkin May 19, 2012
this is a hard croccante.
hardlikearmour December 23, 2011
This is really delicious! I love the anise flavor. Thanks, mrsklarkin!
lapadia October 27, 2011
Mouthwatering, and a citrus genius...mrslarkin, love your optional suggestion!
mrslarkin October 27, 2011
Thanks lapadia. Hope you are feeling better!
lapadia October 28, 2011
Thanks, mrslarkin...feeling better each day :)
Bevi October 27, 2011
Sambuca mandatory! Spreading with a lemon half sounds like a great trick in general!
mrslarkin October 27, 2011
Thanks Bevi. Have you tried the Sambuca Black?? It is very awesome.
hardlikearmour October 26, 2011
Love it, mrslarkin! Especially the instructions for spreading the brittle with the lemon half - what a great idea!
mrslarkin October 27, 2011
thank hla! It works great - just be careful because that sugar is HOT!