This almond brittle recipe is just one of the many Italian holiday cookie recipes that is preapred in Sardinia. Nut brittle cookies are authentic Italian cookies using two simple ingredients; sugar and almonds.
Sharing with you one of my grandmas Italian holiday cookie recipes is a way of spreading our Sardinian traditions. I'm not quite sure what I love most about these Italian almond cookies; eating the cookie… or licking the leaves!
You see, this almond brittle recipe has a unique Sardinian twist. Each almond cookie is placed on a freshly picked lemon leaf. This original way to serve up these Italian cookies is not only used for a great presentation.
The lemons leaves have just as much flavor as the fruit itself.
This almond brittle recipe uses only sugar and almonds, so it is only natural that after a few days the sugar will start to melt.
The lemons leaves are used to capture the melted caramel while at the same time it absorbs the genuine flavors from them leaf.
Now you see what I mean by licking the leaves!
Can you get hold of lemon leaves? Yes... I just can't wait for you to have a go at making this almond recipe and please... try licking the leaves and let me know what you think!
No lemon leaves... No Party!
Even without lemon leaves, I'll show you how to use this nut brittle recipe that has the distinct lemon flavor!
I don't know about you, but I just love to see cookie recipes with pictures, the more the merrier. I just hope you do too, as I have put a picture of all the stages of this nut brittle recipe.
WARNING... BEFORE WE START! Carmelized sugar is very very hot, so please do be extra careful.
This almond brittle recipe is simple and easy. All you need is:
The photo to the left are slivered almonds to help you buy the right cut of almonds for this recipe.
You can also buy them on Amazon.Com and will be able to see a larger image there too.
These almonds are normally not toasted, so you will have to toast them yourself.
An important thing you need to decide before you tackle this nut brittle recipe is where you are going to pour the very hot mixture of sugar and almonds.
Marble is the most ideal surface to work with. It is heat resistant and the hard surface makes the cutting of the nut brittle pretty easy.
Melt a little lard down and lightly brush the marble surface with the lard. This prevents the hot nut brittle from sticking to the marble.
Protect the surface of the table with a cotton table cloth and lay a large sheet of grease proof paper.
Using this method you will still be able to cut up the nut brittle into diamond shapes.
Just be careful as the almond brittle does not stick to the paper at all so you may find it slides about when you are trying to cut it.
If you are not too fussed about cutting up your almond brittle into little diamonds, this is the easiest method to use.
Be careful as the almond brittle mixture will heat up the baking tray. Leave to cool before you break it up.
Place the granulated sugar into the frying pan
Start to heat sugar on a high setting.
As soon as the sugar starts to melt, start to stir with a wooden spoon
Once the sugar starts to turn a golden color, turn the heat down slightly.
It is amazing how quickly the sugar will burn so stir continuously
Once all the sugar has turned to caramel add the toasted almonds.
Stir until all the almonds are well covered with sugar
Pour the nut brittle on to your chosen surface and spread with the wooden spoon
Use the halved lemon to help you spread out the nut brittle thinly.
Don't be frightened to press down hard.
Rub the halved lemon all over the surface of the nut brittle for more flavor
While the nut brittle is still hot and soft, with a heavy knife score the brittle into strips about two fingers wide.
Scoring helps to give a clean cut.
Keep cutting over the scored lines until they break away
Take each strip and cut on an angle into small diamonds.
Careful as the nut brittle will be manageable but still hot.
The only way to cut nut brittle is while it is still hot
It is practically impossible to cut all the nut brittle in to perfect diamonds, as you can see in the photo the edges will have a rough cut.
My suggestion is… you eat the edges and save the perfect diamond almond brittle for your guests!
So, there you have it my grandma's favorite Italian holiday cookie recipe!
You can of course double the amounts, but if you are looking to cut up your almond brittle into diamonds, never do more than 1kg of almonds and 2kg of sugar, as the brittle sets before you have enough time to cut it all.
Brittle can be made with all sorts of nuts, just a couple of things to beware of.
Hope you enjoying your adventure with this almond brittle recipe as much as I enjoy making them, eating them and sharing this page with passionate baker's looking for authentic Italian cookies.
Looking for more Italian cookie recipes to bake and savor? Here you will a wonderful collection of Italian cakes and cookies which are from the Mediterranean Island of Sardinia.