This delightful, buttery, crunchy candy has a lovely thin chocolate covering and is as good as any from a candy shop. It is a Codola family treasure.
1-1/2 cups (about 12 ounces) chopped blanched almonds
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces (4 squares) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toast chopped almonds on a baking sheet until lightly golden — about 12 minutes. Set aside.
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently (constantly toward the end), to 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer (hard-crack stage). Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and 1-1/4 cups of the almonds. Immediately pour the mixture into a buttered 9- by 13-inch pan, spreading it evenly and quickly. Cool.
Turn the cooled mixture out onto a sheet of waxed paper. Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler, then remove from heat. Spread chocolate over the surface of the almond crunch and sprinkle with remaining nuts. Let stand until set, then break into bite-sized pieces. Store airtight at room temperature.