Wednesday, December 8, 2010

English Toffee

When I lived in Georgia I had a friend who would bring me homemade toffee every Christmas. It was so darn good and I would hide it so I could have it all to myself. Well, this is the third Christmas since we moved away and no one has stepped up and given me toffee, the nerve. So I figured I should finally make my own.

I tried making toffee once. Actually several times. And it never turned out. I think I can blame a few different things for my failures: low quality butter, humidity, etc. Tonight I finally had success and I owe it to The Idea Room's recipe. And good quality butter. And a perfectly calibrated candy thermometer.

Here are some tips for making toffee:
  1. Use good, name brand butter. NO Wal-mart butter here. It has a higher water content and will not turn out right. This recipe calls for salted butter, but if all you have is unsalted, add a pinch of salt at the end.
  2. Calibrate your thermometer. Our Best Bites has a tutorial here.
  3. Use a wooden spoon. The first batch I made I used a plastic spoon and it started to melt. Not cool.
  4. Be careful. Be very careful. This stuff is hot and will melt your skin off! Two words: oven mitts.
  5. Use a heavy duty saucepan. This reduces the chances of hot spots forming and burning your candy.
  6. Line your cookie sheet with parchment or aluminum foil. It makes it easier to break the toffee in pieces. And there's less clean up.
adapted from The Idea Room

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 - 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (depending on how much chocolate you like)
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds or pecans

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. In a heavy saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to a boil. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thermometer reads 290 degrees F. (Watch it carefully once it reaches 280 degrees because the temp will increase quickly and you don't want this to burn). Pour onto cookie sheet and quickly spread to desired thickness. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over warm toffee. Let sit 1-2 minutes or until softened and gently spread melted chocolate into an even layer. Sprinkle with almonds and lightly press so the almonds stick. Chill in refrigerator until hard. Crack into pieces and store in an airtight container. Makes 1 1/2 pounds.


Extra nutty: Quickly stir in an additional 1/2 cup chopped or sliced almonds into toffee before pouring onto cookie sheet.

Salty/sweet: Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt instead of almonds.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your recipe similar to mine. I have been makeing Enlish Toffee for about twenty years at Christmas. How friends wait for Santa to bring them their present each year. About ten years ago I started using my Micorwave to cook the toffee. So easy and simple. start with water, sugar and syrup cook aprox 20 minutes til string stage. No stiring. Next one quarter lb. butter for 2 minutes continue with quarter lb. for 2 minutes until lb. is used up. next ad cup of almonds cook for nine minutes. take candy out and stir like crazy incase there is a seperation of butter. pour into pan and the rest is all the same. Yum Yum.Joyce Robinson