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Chocolate Almond Nut Jobs
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Makes: 20 to 30 clusters

These candies are named after me, because whenever I made them, Mary Jo, another pastry cook, would say, “Dave, you’re a nut job!” Soon everyone in the pastry department was calling them “Dave’s nut jobs”—affectionately, I hope. These are just about the easiest candies you can make and among the best, as long as you use very good nuts, perfectly toasted, and equally good chocolate.

Instructions

  1. 1Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toast the almonds in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Allow them to cool completely, and then chop them coarsely.
  2. 2Break up the chocolate and melt it in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Make sure that the bowl you melt the chocolate in is completely dry; if there’s even a drop of water, the chocolate will “seize”—become stiff and granular—and it will be unusable.
  3. 3Once the chocolate has melted, take the bowl off the heat and stir in the chopped nuts, completely coating them with chocolate.
  4. 4Cover a baking sheet with parchment or plastic wrap. Scoop out heaping teaspoons of the chocolate-nut mixture onto the sheet pan. When done, refrigerate until ready to eat.

Note: By refrigerating the candies and serving them cold, you avoid having to temper the chocolate. Candies made with untempered chocolate and left at room temperature eventually develop white streaks from the gradual separation of cocoa butter out of the chocolate.

Variations:
You can make any kind of chocolate nut jobs: Toasted pecans or walnuts are especially good. Or make them with any combination of toasted nuts. Once I made them with Rice Krispies instead of nuts! For a more formal presentation—if you want to include them in a candy box, for example—spoon the chocolate-coated nuts directly into candy cups.

  • Chocolate Almond Nut Jobs

This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.

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