There's nothing that can beat the deliciousness of a crunchy, caramelized brittle with lots of nuts, and that's what this Norwegian Krokan recipe is all about.
Think of them as candied nuts, but in a brittle-like form.
While Krokan is a traditional Norwegian dessert, it is super versatile and a great vegan, gluten free and dairy free dessert that you can put to use in a ton of different ways.
The sweetness of the caramelized sugar and the crunchy nuttiness of the almonds and hazelnuts come together beautifully in this recipe.
Krokan is extremely popular in Norway, but is a recipe inspired by French techniques, specifically around making nougat and torrone.
In Norway, Krokan is crushed and used as a coating for a simple ice cream swirl. I recently topped it on my baked yogurt cups, and it turned out to be an insanely delicious combination.
What's So Great About the Recipe?
I'm always down for homemade sweet treats, but truth be told, I don't like spending too much kitchen time to put it together.
And of course, Krokan had to be on my to-try list.
I love how a simple mix of sugar, nuts and a bit of oil can turn into such a delicious and versatile dessert or snack. Plus, I can store it for later too!
Almonds: Almonds lend that much needed nuttiness and crunch factor to the Krokan.
Hazelnuts: I also added my favorite hazelnuts to the mixture for some extra nutty flavor.
Sugar: Sugar forms the base for this golden brown brittle. You can use regular sugar or granulated sugar- all depending on what you have at hand.
Lemon juice: A dash of lemon juice can help keep the sugar from crystallizing. This one's another must, especially if you are making homemade sugar candy for the first time.
Oil: Oil lends that silky, rich flavor to the nuts and helps get them nice and shiny once they are out of the oven.
Vanilla essence: This one's optional. I haven't used it, but if you want a bit of extra flavor, you can totally add a few drops into it.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make the Krokan
Ready to learn how to make this Norwegian dessert? Simply follow these little tips and tricks.
Dry roast the nuts in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper on low heat until they start to turn golden. Drizzle with some oil
Once done, get the nuts out and allow them to cool down completely.
Roughly chop the nuts and set them aside.
Meanwhile, heat sugar and water in a pot or a pan on low heat until it starts to melt.
Once the sugar has melted, add the lemon juice and continue to heat until it turns brown.
Once the sugar mixture has browned, take it off heat, add the chopped nuts and mix well.
Quickly spread the mixture in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Allow it to cool down before cutting it into bite sized pieces.
Substitutions & Variations
- I used almonds and hazelnuts for this recipe, but you can experiment with other combinations and different kinds of nuts too.
- To lend the Krokan a bit of a caramel-like deliciousness, you can use salted, pre-roasted almonds instead of regular almonds.
- I used oil to add a bit of richness to the nuts. Butter is a great option if you are looking for an alternative to oil and don't mind the dairy.
- I have used regular sugar for this recipe, but you can also choose to experiment with brown sugar, or even add a dash of honey if you want to.
If you're finding it hard to cut the Krokan into squares, use a hot knife.
How to Store the Leftover Krokan
Storing Krokan is actually super easy. All you need to do is allow the mixture to cool down, break it and then store it in an airtight container.
Remember not to refrigerate it- the sugar mixture stays best at room temperature, and refrigerating it will make it sticky.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- Make sure you use a neutral flavored oil like canola oil for this recipe. If you use a stronger oil, it may affect the flavor of the Krokan.
- You can also consider adding a bit of corn syrup to the sugar mixture. This will help keep the candy mixture from getting grainy.
- Remember to use a heavy bottomed pan, ideally a non stick variety when trying out this recipe. This will ensure that the heat is evenly distributed, and that the sugar mixture doesn't end up sticking to the pan or burn.
- If you're dry roasting the nuts in a pan instead of the oven, make sure it isn't on high heat. Keep the heat medium to low to get the best results when it comes to the texture and color of the nuts.
- Allow the Krokan to cool completely before you try to cut or break it. I would also recommend spreading the mixture as thin as you can, for it will give you the perfect crunch you're looking for.
- Also make sure you use high quality nuts for the recipe- it will make all the difference in the end result!
How to Serve the Krokan
Krokan is incredibly versatile and can be served and enjoyed in a ton of different ways. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve this easy brittle.
With Ice Cream
Traditionally, Krokan is broken and crushed, and then used as a topping or a coating for ice cream. You can do just that- if you have any leftovers after cutting the brittle squares, you can save them up and use them as a topping over your bowl of ice cream or even your breakfast bowl of oats.
On a Cake
Krokan can be a great topping in all dessert that need a bit of sweetness and some crunchy texture. The softness of cake will perfectly complement the crunch from the brittle, taking your taste buds on a wild ride.
On its Own!
Krokan can also be enjoyed on its own as a quick snack or a bite sized sweet treat or dessert that you can just pick and enjoy. It can definitely be a healthier alternative to your favorite chocolate bar.
On a Pudding
You can use Krokan as a topping for any soft desserts like puddings and cheesecakes. I like the idea of using it as a topping on my simple no bake cheesecake jars.
Pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, Brazil nuts and pistachios are great choices if you're looking to try making this treat with other nuts.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- 1 cup Whole Almonds
- 1 cup Hazelnuts
- 1.5 cups Granulated Sugar
- ½ cup Water
- ¼ teaspoon Lemon Juice
- ½ teaspoon Oil
- Dry roast the nuts in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper on low heat until they start to turn golden. Drizzle with some oil
- Once done, get the nuts out and allow them to cool down completely.
- Roughly chop the nuts and set them aside.
- Meanwhile, heat sugar and water in a pot or a pan on low heat until it starts to melt.
- Once the sugar has melted, add the lemon juice and continue to heat until it turns brown.
- Once the sugar mixture has browned, take it off heat, add the chopped nuts and mix well.
- Quickly spread the mixture in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Allow it to cool down before cutting it into bite sized pieces.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove