Wonderful, soft, chewy, crunchy, lovely Almond Chews, packed with chocolicious goodness, shaped into flat bark like shapes, absolutely beautiful.
Today is a special day, not that everyday is not, in my world. But this day being extra special because Valentine’s day is coming and I am always thinking of things to do for Nicoletta on that day. I love coming up with different ideas when it comes to this sort of things, and so something that came to mind were these wonderful, soft, chewy, crunchy, lovely chews, packed with chocolicious goodness, that I know Nicoletta would love as she adores anything that has good chocolate in it.
I came to taste this wonderful sweet from my Comare Maria as she is known to me, I guess here in the English world it would be godmother. In the Italian tradition godmothers or comari are a big thing. Being raised Roman Catholic it was about the time of my confirmation a tradition in the Catholic Church confirming your faith, that I chose my god parents Maria and Jim Perri to be mine, and I would have to say they have been wonderful and have been there for me quite a few times when I needed them, and love them dearly. I did not keep my faith of Roman Catholic respectfully, searched for many years in finding my own way and came to sit in the middle somewhere encompassing many traditions. This brings me to what I wanted to make for Nicoletta, and asking my comare for help as it is her recipe in making For my Valentine Chocolate Almond Chews.
These beauties are definitely a labor of love. Starting off with the melting of butter in a large pan, which always brings to mind movie theaters and the concession stand, then in go marshmallows and the air fills with this buttery vanilla smell and the memories of campfires and roasting marshmallows on a stick. This recipe demands a lot of care as you have to keep stirring and stirring paying close attention to the marshmallows as they melt and become a cream, then in goes the chocolate chips and that smell of cocoa comes into play, using the semisweet chips, as it compliments the flavor of the toasted almonds which go in next. This is where arm muscle is needed and stirring becomes a battle of brawn meets brain. My comare waits patiently having butchers wax paper ready, sprayed with some cooking oil. I pour the mixture onto the paper and those loving hands go to work molding and shaping these chocolate almond chews into flat bark like shapes, absolutely beautiful, and that sheen that is left on the chocolate as you can see in the pictures is amazing, I think a combination of the oil and comare Maria’s hand polishing techniques, brings this about.
The final part cutting these chews and I am putting all my love and passion for Nicoletta into it, and all that loving energy that my comare Maria has, will definitely knock Nicoletta’s socks off. Wrapped nicely in a bow and ribbon, these are ready to be packaged in all their soft, chocolaty, and nutty goodness, and given to my best friend, lover, and wife Nicoletta. This is only the beginning of a series of things that I want to do for her, to show my appreciation and devotion, and the immense love I have. Thank you comare for all your help, and most of all amoreee…………
Happy -almost- Valentine’s Day!
Make this day special for the one you love, try these For my Valentine Chocolate Almond Chews.
The song of the day is for you amore: “Good Morning” by John Legend.Print
For 1 log:
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 45 large marshmallows
- 2 cups almonds, toasted
- 300 g semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (1 bag)
- In a large non-stick skillet on low heat, put 2 Tbsp of butter and let it melt.
- Add the marshmallows and stir continuosly on medium/high heat until melted.
- Add the chocolate chips and keep stirring vigorously.
- Lastly, add the toasted almonds and stir briefly until it all comes together.
- Place the mixture on wax paper sprayed with vegetable oil.
- Form a log, then press it down to 1 inch thickness.
- Let cool, then cut in 1/2 – 2 inch width.
This chewy bark freezes beautifully. You can also eat it frozen for a harder, crunchier chocolate.
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