1 cup almonds with skin or without the skin
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
½ teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds
¼ teaspoon saffron threads soaked in teaspoon of milk (optional)
Soak almonds in cold water for an hour.
Boil 2 cups water in small sauce pan and add almonds. Boil them for a minute. Remove almonds from hot water and put them in ice water. Take one almond at a time in between your thumb and index finger and squeeze it to remove the skin. Repeat with rest of the almonds. You can eliminate this process if you are using almonds without skin.
Blend almonds with milk in a blender until it becomes thick paste. Remove the almond paste from the blender in to a thick non-stick pan and mix with sugar. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat. Stir continuously with a heat proof spatula until the almond mixture becomes thick. Add a little ghee in between until all the ghee is finished. Mix cardamom powder and saffron (if using). Spread almond barfi over a greased plate.
Cut in to desired shapes when barfi is cold.
4 Cups cashew pieces
2 Cups brown sugar
1 Cup regular sugar
1/2 Cup water
1 Teaspoon crushed, fresh cardamom seed
1 Table spoon homemade ghee ( clarified unsalted butter)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spread cashew pieces on a large pizza plate or cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes stirring often. When cashews are just light brown, take them out of the oven and cool them.
Spread a teaspoon of ghee on a large pizza plate or cookie sheet and keep it a side.
In a large sauce pan mix sugars and water and boil syrup on medium high heat stirring continuously. Test syrup by putting a drop on a plate.
It should feel thick and not runny.
Remove syrup from the heat and add ghee, cardamom powder and cashews and mix fast and thoroughly and pour it on prepared pizza plate ( or cookie sheet) and spread it quickly before the brittle gets hard.
Break them to pieces and serve them in a silver plate, bowl, or a crystal bowl.
Note: Cashews can be prepared one day early and kept in air tight container after they are cooled. This sweet is a very easy to make quickly.
Happy Deepavali / Sal Mubarak!