Almond Nougat Bars
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons water
1 pinch salt
2 egg whites
35 unwrapped Kraft caramels
2/3 cup whole roasted almonds
2 bags milk chocolate chips (12-ounce bags)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, 1/2 cup of the water, and the salt. Heat to boiling, then cook using a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and form peaks.
When the sugar mixture reaches 270°F, or the soft-crack stage, remove from the heat and pour the mixture in thin streams into the egg whites, blending completely with an electric mixer set on low. Continue to mix about 20 minutes, or until the nougat begins to harden and thickens to the consistency of dough. Mix in the almonds.
Press the nougat into a greased 9 x 9-inch pan and chill until form, about 30 minutes.
Melt the caramels with the remaining 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan
over medium heat. Pour the caramel over the nougat and return the pan to
the refrigerator. When the caramel and nougat are firm (about 30 minutes), slice
down the middle of the pan with a sharp knife, and then slice across into 7
segments to make a total of 14 bars.
Melt the milk chocolate chips in a microwave for 2 minutes on half power, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Melt completely, but be careful not to overheat. Resting bar on a fork (and using your fingers if needed), dip each bar into the chocolate to coat completely and tap the fork against the side of the bowl to knock off the excess chocolate. Place on waxed paper and let cool at room temperature until the chocolate is firm, 1 to 2 hours.
Note: If you have a very sharp cookie cutter, cut out egg shapes before