Growing up, the smell of my mom making this chocolate-covered treat signified Christmas for me. Based on my grandmother's recipe, this delicious alternative to Christmas cookies may appear intimidating, but as long as you prep your ingredients in advance, it is really quite easy.
When cooking the sugar, be sure to stir it as it gets to hard crack stage, and be sure to brush down the sides of the pan with a wet brush so that crystals don't form.
Combine sugar, salt, butter, vanilla and water in a 4-quart saucepan. Cook over high heat until it reaches hard crack stage, stirring frequently and brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush so crystals don't form.
While the sugar cooks, divide the nuts into two equal portions. Once the sugar gets to hard crack stage, add ½ of the nuts. Stir well and pour onto a greased silpat-lined cookie sheet. Spread it to about ¼-inch thickness and let it cool until hardened.
While the crunch cools, temper the chocolate.
Once the crunch is cool, peel the silpat away from the crunch and spread the flat side with a thin layer of chocolate and spread ½ of the remaining nuts on top. Let the chocolate harden.
Once the chocolate is hardened, flip the crunch over and spread the chocolate and nuts on the other side. Let cool completely.
Break into bite sized pieces and enjoy.