Desserts | December 8, 2018

Almond Roca

Holiday treat making just got easier with ABK’s Almond Roca. This homemade recipe is a no-fuss, easy, and irresistibly delicious treat that’s perfect for the holiday season!
Almond Roca

An Old Favorite

When my husband, Grant, and I first got married, this was one of the first recipes I ever tried. It holds a special place in my heart now for many reasons. The recipe came from the Salt lake Jr. League Heritage cookbook which was a wedding gift and a book I used often when I was newly married. I was intrigued because of the name of the recipe “Almond Roca”.  I grew up in Washington, and lived close to Tacoma, where Brown and Haley Almond Roca originated.
Brown and Haley homemade Almond Roca
Every year at Christmas my dad would bring home a pink tin (back then they were sold in tin cans), each piece was individually wrapped in a gold foil.  I loved Almond Roca and often snuck pieces when my parents weren’t looking! I noticed when I pulled this recipe out to share as a post,  the contributor of the recipe I started making back in the early 1980’s  was June Oaks, mother to my friend Jenny Oaks Baker who lives in our neighborhood. We’ve had the blessing of knowing Jenny, Matt and their children for a few years and I love this connection we have through her mother who passed away in 1998. Don’t you love the way food connects us to people we love?
Brown and Haley homemade Almond Roca

Almond Roca is Easier Than You Think… A few steps for S-U-C-C-E-S-S

I know what you’re thinking when it comes to homemade toffee. “It’s so hard to make!” But trust me, this recipe for Almond Roca is unbelievably easy. A few tips for making Almond Roca.  First, ALWAYS read the recipe all the way through. This is extremely important. Many recipes require removing candy from stove and having other ingredients ready right away. Candy making is unlike cookie making, it requires preciseness. Always read all the way thru before beginning!  Two, gather all ingredients before beginning. You don’t want to find out half way thru the process you don’t have almonds, or can’t find the candy thermometer.  Three. Get yourself a good thermometer. I highly recommend this one. You’re looking for a dark golden or tan color as a finished product. Having a thermometer is a huge help!
Brown and Haley homemade Almond Roca
And last, but not least,#4 the most difficult step or tip for me to follow is PATIENCE. Making candy takes patience. If the recipe says stir the whole time, then stir the whole time. Don’t increase the temperature just because you are in a hurry. Don’t start candy making if you are in a  hurry! Take your time, Enjoy the process. Follow directions. This is more for me than you, I promise! Where is my hand to the head emoji?!  The 5th step is not always under your control, but try to make candy when you don’t have distractions. As you can see in this photo, the color of the finished product is on the light side. Meaning, the butter, sugar water mixture should be bordering on light brown, or a dark golden color. This batch was not quite as dark as usual, because I was trying to take photos and also deal with the thermometer, etc. It is best to make candy when you don’t have to deal with distractions!
how to make Brown and Haley homemade Almond Roca
Brown and Haley homemade Almond Roca

The Perfect Gift to Share

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is spending time with friends and loved ones, and making treats. Almond Roca is the perfect treat to make this holiday season. It’s a must-have addition to your traditional Christmas candy-making list!  Buttery and rich, it’s great for holiday parties, gifts, or just for yourself 🙂  Package it up in a cute tin or even a paper carton, like the ones you get from Chinese take-out. It stays good for at least a week after making. Happy holidays!
Brown and Haley homemade Almond Roca
5 from 3 votes
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Almond Roca

This homemade Almond Roca recipe is a no-fuss, easy, and irresistibly delicious treat that’s perfect for the holiday season! Similar to Brown and Haley Almond Roca and so simple to make at home. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword almond roca, american dessert, easy, holiday, homemade, toffee
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 lbs

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups butter
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 cups almonds, sliced or chopped or a mixture of both
  • 2 large Hershey milk chocolate bars 6-8 oz each

Instructions

  1. Prepare a pan by buttering the bottom of a pan, and about an inch up the sides. Spread 3/4- 1 cup of sliced almonds in the bottom of pan. Set aside.

  2. Place  2 cups sugar, 2 cups butter and 1/3 cup water in a large heavy saucepan.

  3. Cook over medium high heat until tan in color or until the thermometer reaches 276-280 degrees. The important part here is the color. You're looking for a dark tan color. This should take about 12-15 minutes at medium high heat. 

  4. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon while mixture is cooking. 

  5. When the candy reaches 276 degrees, Pour over sliced almonds spread out on a 9x13 to  jelly-roll size pan. 

  6. Cool slightly. Sprinkle chocolate Hershey bars, broken up a bit on warm toffee. 

  7. Let chocolate melt and spread evenly with knife. Sprinkle remaining nuts on top while chocolate is still soft, pressing nuts into chocolate lightly. 

  8. Let candy completely cool, then break or cut into pieces. Candy may be set in fridge or freezer to cool more quickly. Store in air tight container when completely cooled in a single layer, or layers separated by parchment paper. 

Recipe Notes

  • Almonds may be chopped or sliced or finely chopped. I like to use sliced almonds for the base of the Almond Roca, then chop the nuts for the top finely in the food processor. 
  • If you like your toffee thicker, Use a 9x13 pan, if you would rather have the candy on the thin side, use  jelly roll pan.

6 thoughts on “Almond Roca

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  1. 5 stars
    Si! Thanks for the shoutout! My mom would have been honored to know that you value her recipe enough to include it on your amazing blog! She made almond roca every Christmas for neighbors and friends and the smell still brings back happy childhood memories for me. Thanks for spreading the joy of food, family and friendship!

    1. Thanks Jenny! It is such a small world. Who would think that a recipe I’ve made for years would connect us like this. Loved you and your sweet family. <3
      xo
      Si

  2. I always have butter pool around the edges when I pour it onto the pan. Can this be avoided?

    I’ve also noticed when I make toffee it gets grainy the next day. Any tips?
    I’m excited to try this recipe!

    1. Hi Keeli, I would try cooking it in the saucepan for a bit longer, I think that will help with both of those issues. Thanks for asking!
      xo
      Si

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for office gifts for my husband’s work – the recipe was great! I didn’t have sliced almonds on hand, so I pulsed them in my food processor. I also didn’t have Hershey bars so I used Hershey milk chocolate chips. It turned out great! I will use sliced almonds next time, because it made the toffee break apart easier in a way I didn’t want them to by having them in chopped form, but the adaptation worked in a pinch.
    The almond roca was DELICIOUS! Our whole family loved it. We will definitely be making it again. Thank you for sharing the recipe!