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Almond Roca – English Toffee

Just a few days before Christmas and I finally got the break in the weather I’ve been daily checking for the entire month of December. Oh joy!! It’s a Festivus miracle!!

Weather is always my biggest obstacle when trying to make almond roca (English Toffee). I remember as a kid, my mom would check outside every day to see if it was going to be cold and dry. She never made almond roca unless the sky was clear, the temperature cold and the humidity low. Which, in Seattle is sometimes just one day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. When the conditions were right, my mom would drop everything and make this recipe. I’ve learned to do the same – otherwise, it doesn’t get made. For more details on the science behind weather conditions and the effect they have on candy, see the * at the end of this post. [Read more…]

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Vanilla Bean Cookies

My mom makes these buttery rich cookies every Christmas. For years I would watch her roll out the dough and cut it into angel and tree shapes. It is not an easy dough to work with because essentially, it is butter and ground almonds. It can get a little crumbly – especially the second and third time you roll it out. This year I decided to try a little twist on mom’s classic recipe. I rolled the dough into balls, and flattened them slightly. Same great taste – much less hassle. I kind of miss the snowy angels though. [Read more…]

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