Sunday, December 21, 2008

Better than Cookies...Homemade English Toffee

Believe it or not, this recipe is actually very quick. Once you know your way around candy making, it's quite enjoyable to whip up a batch of this stuff.

Here's the recipe I use which is actually a combination of several recipes I reviewed and tested. This is very simple, but comes out great every time, as long as I make it on a sunny day.

English Toffee

Things to know and things you'll need ahead of time:
  • You need a candy thermometer. Test it. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit so boil some water and check to make sure you thermometer is acurate. Mine is about 8 degrees off and I adjust when I cook. Temps listed are for actual temperature, not my adjusted one.
  • Candy making is FAST. Once the water boils out of the mix the temp will rise very quickly and you must keep an eye on the thermometer at all times. Burnt candy is nasty and unusable.
  • Make it on a sunny day. Candy making is about how much water is boiled out. Humid days make for questionable candy.

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup almonds or hazelnuts (optional)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp water
8 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate - chopped up or in morstles

1. Prepare your pan. I use a large cookie sheet with edges or a jelly roll pan covered with parchment paper.
2. Melt butter, sugar, salt and water over a low heat until melted together. Stir constantly, but slowly with a wooden spoon or heat proof spatula
3. Raise heat to medium. At 260 degrees you can add in the nuts. Stir constantly but slowly until mixture reaches hard crack stage (300-305 degrees)
4. Remove from heat before mixture gets to 320 degrees and add the vanilla. It will boil rapidly so stir it in and then pour it out onto the pan, using a silicone spatula to spread it around into a large rectangle.
5. Before it cools, use a pizza cutter to score it into long bars. This is optional!
6. Temper your chocolate by microwaving in a glass measuring cup for 30 seconds at a time until it begins to melt. It only has to reach 86 degrees so once it begins to melt, just stir it. The lumps will melt into the mix.
7. With a silicone spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee. Let it cool completely in the fridge. Break into pieces and enjoy!


The Velvet Trunk said...

Look at you, little Miss Domestic Diva! :-)

Jaime said...

Looks yummy!!! Glad you're having fun doing some baking! :-) Oh, and some eating, too, I'm sure! :-)

Dana said...

i absolutely LUV toffee!!!!! :) i'm glad you were "brave" ;)

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