Alongside my peanut butter cups and fudge recipes, this old-fashioned almond roca stands among the tried and true that I make regularly.  You don’t need to wish there was a Real Food Candy Shoppe near you anymore.  You can just whip up a real food candy yourself, and you will be surprised how simple and delectable they are.

Ever since I had so much fun figuring out semi-sweet and white chocolate chips, I have wanted to do more candy-making endeavors.  Like most of us I remember going into candy shops as a child and seeing all the different colored candy and wrappers. It was like being in Willy Wonka’s magical factory!

But I know too much now about the ill effects of white sugar and commercial oils to trust store candy anymore.  I still will try a piece here or there (I don’t worry too much about it), but it doesn’t even taste as good as I remember.  I vastly prefer freshly made candies from home, using real butter, cream, whole cane sugar, honey, and real vanilla.

Equipment Needed:

  • large saucepan and wooden spoon
  • candy thermometer
  • good knife or food chopper
  • jelly roll pan and parchment paper
  • glass bowl and rubber scraper

This recipe is perfect to make as a gift.  You can place the almond roca pieces in a beautiful candy box or metal container with a lid, lined with paper.  You could make them for a birthday party, or graduation, or anniversary.  But no matter what, this is something to savor!

Almond Roca

2 cups (1 pound) butter (buy grass-fed butter here, how to make butter here)
1 1/3 cup honey (buy raw honey here)
1 cup chopped almonds (buy almonds here, how to soak & dehydrate nuts here)
2 teaspoons good vanilla (buy extracts here)
2 cups chocolate chips, melted (optional) (how to make chocolate chips here)
extra chopped almonds for sprinkling (optional)

  1. Melt butter gently in a saucepan.  Add honey while the butter melts, stirring with a wooden spoon constantly until nicely combined.
  2. Using a candy thermometer, and stirring occasionally, heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it reaches the “hard-crack stage” of 305 degrees Fahrenheit.  (You can also use “soft-crack” of 275 degrees Fahrenheit for a softer candy that bends first before cracking into pieces when broken apart.)
  3. After the mixture reaches the desired temperature, remove from the heat immediately and stir in the chopped almonds.  Add vanilla, taking care not to get splattered.  Stir well, then immediately spread onto a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper to cool. 
  4. Let cool for 45 minutes or until stiff.  Transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely if needed.  While the almond layer cools, start melting the chocolate chips in a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.  When completely melted, pour over the almond layer, and sprinkle with extra chopped almonds.  Let the chocolate set up either at room temperature (it may take a few hours) or place in the refrigerator or freezer to set up more quickly.
  5. When the chocolate is set, lift the parchment paper from the pan.  It should be very stiff, and will snap when you break off a piece.  Break into any sizes you like.
  6. You can store the candy at room temperature, in an enclosed container.  (If it gets too warm in your kitchen, simply store in the refrigerator and take out a piece about 20 minutes before you want to eat it.)