Following a failed attempt earlier in the week, I produced a massive batch of extreme deliciousness. Toffee, like most candy recipes, is deceptively simple. Here is my recipe and my suggestions (learned the hard way) for guaranteeing a shortcut to winter weight gain.
Anne’s No-Fail Super Delicious Toffee
2 cups granulated sugar
1 lb. butter (4 sticks)
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp. water
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
assorted crushed and/or toasted nuts for topping
Preparations: Grease a baking sheet, baking pan, or large amount of parchment paper. Your desired thickness of toffee determines the vessel you pour it into– I wanted thin toffee, so I used my largest baking sheet- 17×22 or something like that.
1. Combine sugar, butter, salt, and water in a saucepan and heat on medium.
***Tip 1.) Use a pot that holds approximately twice the volume of your mixture. I think the first time I had too much exposed surface area (ie the bottom of the pot was too large) that helped it burn faster.
***Tip 2.) Use a metal spoon for stirring.
***Tip 3.) DEFINITELY use a candy thermometer
***Tip 4.) DO NOT add vanilla yet. I am not sure how crucial this is to the process- but the first time, I added it WITH the ingredients and there was epic disaster.
2.) Heat to boiling.
3.) Continue boiling until mixture reaches between 300-310 degrees F. Consult your thermometer.
***Tip 5.) No matter what the recipe says (if you are using a different one), STIR CONSTANTLY. Scrape the sides often, scrape the bottom even more. Stir, stir stir. Do not stop. This is not a time for multi-tasking.
***Tip 6.) Do not use excessive heat. Use just enough to keep your thermometer steadily rising. At all costs you want to avoid burning the mixture. If you burn it, it’s trash. You won’t be able to eat it. Sadness ensues.
***Tip 7.) This part of the process takes 15-20 minutes. If you are done in 5, you did it wrong.
4.) Once mixture reaches your target temp, it will be a nice, bubbly, thick golden-brown liquid. Pour into your prepared pan/sheet.
5.) Allow mixture to solidify for a minute or two.
***Tip 8.) Other candymakers suggested that you blot the excess oil off the top of your toffee at this point. It will help the chocolate adhere. I did not do this, and most of my chocolate fell off. I don’t really like chocolate, so I was fine with this outcome, but you may not be.
6.) Sprinkle your chocolate chips evenly over the top of the toffee layer. Once again, depending on your desired thickness of the chocolate you may with to use more or fewer chocolate chips.
7.) Allow chocolate to melt – wait 4-5 minutes and use a spatula to spread the layer out evenly, covering the entire surface.
8.) Top with nuts, if desired. I used chopped almonds on 1/3, toasted hazelnuts on 1/3, and left 1/3 plain.
***Tip 9.) Gently press the nuts into the chocolate, to make sure they get “glued” on. Otherwise as soon as you break your candy, all the nuts will fall off.
9.) Cool! Yes, it is awesome that you just made coffee, but what I mean is that you need to wait for everything to cool. Mine was ready to eat after 30 minutes in the refrigerator, but you may wish to wait longer in order for it to really firm up. You can also cool it at room temp- it will just take a little longer.
10.) Enjoy. This is the part we are all good at. Breaking the pieces by hand worked best for me.
***Tip 10.) To clean your sticky pot, simply refill it with water and bring to a boil. Most of the candy residue should melt right off. Easy and delicious!
P.S. Is anyone else shocked at how much butter is in a batch of toffee? That is the main ingredient!! I had no idea… Now all those extra pounds I gained after the wedding are starting to make sense- I ate at least a whole batch on my own in the couple of days following the event.