Italian Croccante: Caramelised Dried Fruit Brittle Bars

Croccante is a sweet typical of various regions of Italy, made in several variations depending on the dried fruit used: almonds, hazelnuts, or a mix of dried fruit, as in this recipe. 

You will certainly have tasted this delicacy, which is not just a Christmas sweet but can always be found in fairs and markets, especially in the wintertime. 

Italian Croccante: Caramelised Dried Fruit Brittle Bars
Italian Croccante is a very easy and quick sweet. Crunchy and delicious caramelised dried fruits shaped into bars. 
Check out this recipe

This Italian Croccante is made with lots of delicious toasted dried fruit, held together by caramelised sugar and with a hint of lemon. 

Discover how to prepare Italian Croccante at home, to be served in pretty bars, but also perfect for giving as a homemade gift for Christmas.

Italian Croccante: Caramelised Dried Fruit Brittle Bars

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Ingredients for a 20 x 20 square baking pan (about 8 bars):

  • 250 g / 2 cups mix of dried fruit (cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios, sun-dried figs)
  • 130 g / 1 cup golden raisins
  • 30 g / ¼ cup cacao nibs
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 350 g / 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Italian Croccante: Caramelised Dried Fruit Brittle Bars Ingredients

How to make Italian Croccante Recipe Step-by-Step

First of all, to prepare the brittle, toast the dried fruit: place all the dried fruit on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated static oven at 180° for 5 minutes. 

How to make Italian Croccante Recipe Step-by-Step

Once toasted, place the dried fruit on a cutting board, and chop everything coarsely with a knife. 

How to make Italian Croccante Recipe Step-by-Step

Put the chopped dried fruit into a bowl, add the sesame seeds, the golden raisins, the lemon zest, the cacao nibs, and mix well. 

Now take care of the caramel: pour the water and sugar into a saucepan, add the lemon juice, mix with a spoon, and melt the mixture over medium heat; it will take about 20 minutes. 

Take a 20 x 20 cm square baking pan and line it with baking paper. 

How to make Italian Croccante Recipe Step-by-Step

In the meantime, the caramel will have reached the right consistency: it must be amber, and bubbles will appear on the surface. 

How to make Italian Croccante Recipe Step-by-Step

At this point, add the mix of dried fruit, stir well, make sure all the fruit is fully coated, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Pour the mixture into the baking pan, and distribute it evenly with a spoon. 

Let it cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes (it will still be soft and malleable). After the resting time, turn the brittle on a cutting board, remove the baking paper, cut it into 8 equal pieces, or smaller, or bigger, depending on how you want them, and let it rest until the bars are completely compacted and hardened. 

Then you can transfer the brittle to a serving dish; the croccante is ready to be enjoyed!

Italian Croccante: Caramelised Dried Fruit Brittle Bars
Italian Croccante: Caramelised Dried Fruit Brittle Bars
Italian Croccante: Caramelised Dried Fruit Brittle Bars

How to store croccante

To best way to store the brittle bars is by wrapping them in foil and placing them in a tin box or glass jar with a lid, only when they are cold. Keep the container in a cool and dry place as caramelised sugar tends to melt when hot.

The good thing about this croccante is that you can also make it with any dried fruits you like, and also add pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or give it a more savory note with peanuts.

Italian Croccante: Caramelised Dried Fruit Brittle Bars

Have you ever tried Italian croccante? If not, now is the right time. You only need a few ingredients, which most probably you already have at home, and you’ll have a sweet that is not only super delicious but also will fill you with energy.

Italian Croccante: Caramelised Dried Fruit Brittle Bars

Italian Croccante is a very easy and quick sweet. Crunchy and delicious caramelised dried fruits shaped into bars. 
Prep Time 30 mins
Resting Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 322 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g / 2 cups mix of dried fruit (cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios, sun-dried figs)
  • 130 g / 1 cup golden raisins
  • 30 g / ¼ cup cacao nibs
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 350 g / 1 ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Instructions
 

  • First of all, to prepare the brittle, toast the dried fruit: place all the dried fruit on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated static oven at 180° for 5 minutes. 
  • Once toasted, place the dried fruit on a cutting board, and chop everything coarsely with a knife. 
  • Put the chopped dried fruit into a bowl, add the sesame seeds, the golden raisins, the lemon zest, the cacao nibs, and mix well. 
  • Now take care of the caramel: pour the water and sugar into a saucepan, add the lemon juice, mix with a spoon, and melt the mixture over medium heat; it will take about 20 minutes. 
  • Take a 20 x 20 cm square baking pan and line it with baking paper. 
  • In the meantime, the caramel will have reached the right consistency: it must be amber, and bubbles will appear on the surface. 
  • At this point, add the mix of dried fruit, stir well, make sure all the fruit is fully coated, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour the mixture into the baking pan, and distribute it evenly with a spoon. 
  • Let it cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes (it will still be soft and malleable). After the resting time, turn the brittle on a cutting board, remove the baking paper, cut it into 8 equal pieces, or smaller, or bigger, depending on how you want them, and let it rest until the bars are completely compacted and hardened. Then you can transfer the brittle to a serving dish; the croccante is ready to be enjoyed!

Notes

How to store croccante
To best way to store the brittle bars is by wrapping them in foil and placing them in a tin box or glass jar with a lid, only when they are cold. Keep the container in a cool and dry place as caramelized sugar tends to melt when hot.
The good thing about this croccante is that you can also make it with any dried fruits you like, and also add pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or give it a more savory note with peanuts.
Keyword Caramelised Dried Fruit Brittle Bars, Christmas recipes, croccante, Italian croccante recipe, Italian sweets for Christmas
Popsicle Society
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25 thoughts

  1. Wow, very clear instructions with helpful guidance of pictures and nutritional facts. I think the hint of lemon is a great idea! I’m definitely going to try this!
    This actually resembles a traditional Indian sweet called Chikki. It’s basically a peanut brittle bar. 😀

  2. Terrific post Ribana. All these sweet things are great for a sweet tooth, 1] which l am no longer allowed and 2] sadly l am these days allergic to all nuts .all that aside, great post 🙂

      1. So do l Ribana. i have tests here that arrived recently, however with Christmas so close, l’ll not be able to perform them till the new year otherwise my results will probably get stuck in the mail.

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