Founded in 1914 by Harry Brown and J.C. Haley in Tacoma, Washington, the Brown and Haley Candy Company is one of the oldest confectioners in the country. In 1923 the company hit the jackpot when Harry Brown and the former cook from what would eventually become the M&M/Mars candy company, created a chocolate-coated butter toffee candy, sprinkled with California almonds. They took the sweet to Tacoma's head librarian, and she named it Almond Roca—roca means "rock" in Spanish. In 1927 the two men decided to wrap the little candies in imported gold foil and pack them into the now-familiar pink cans to extend their shelf life threefold. In fact, because of the way the candy was packaged, it was carried by troops in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War.
The Brown and Haley candy company is still housed in the former shoe factory that it has occupied since 1919. Almond Roca is so popular today that it can be found in sixty-four countries and is a market leader in Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Japan. The company sells more than 5 million pounds of Almond Roca each year and is the United States leading exporter of packaged confections.
Click here for more of my copycat recipes of famous candy.
Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.
This recipe is available in
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 1 cup finely chopped toasted almonds
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- Do This
Restaurant/BrandBrown & Haley
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
2. Add the sugar, water, and corn syrup.
3. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring.
4. When the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to boil, raise the heat and bring the mixture to 290 degrees F on a cooking thermometer (the soft-crack stage). It will be light brown in color, and syrup will separate into threads that are not brittle when dribbled into cold water. Stir the mixture often as it heats up.
5. Quickly stir in 1/2 cup chopped almonds.
6. Immediately pour the mixture onto an ungreased small baking sheet (9x13-inch).
7. Wait 2 or 3 minutes for the candy surface to firm, then sprinkle on the chocolate chips.
8. In a few minutes, when the chips have softened, spread the chocolate evenly over the surface.
9. Sprinkle the remaining almonds over the melted chocolate.
10. Refrigerate the candy for 1 hour, then crack the candy into pieces. Store covered.
Makes 1 1/2 pounds.
Heath bar or Hershey's Skor: These two candy bars are very similar, and both are composed of ingredients similar to those in Almond Roca. One obvious difference is that there are no almonds on top of these bars. To make these candy bars, simply follow the same directions for Almond Roca, omitting step 9.
Tidbits: The recipe can be doubled. If you do that, be sure to pour the syrup into a larger 11x17-inch baking sheet. Also, a Silpat silicone baking mat works great as a pan liner, and the candy won't stick to it.
I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker
For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.