Wednesday, December 15, 2010

English Toffee

Yummy, yummy toffee pieces
This toffee is so rich and buttery, exactly how toffee should be. I always make it around the holidays to give as a gift and for guests to snack on. Candy making during the holidays is a tradition for me, starting when I was a teenager and I would get together with a friend of mine to make different candies. I hope you enjoy making this, and the other candies I will be posting, as much as I have over the years.

A quick note on candy thermometers: I have never had the best of luck with them and prefer to check my candy the old fashioned way, by dropping it in water and observing what stage it is in. Usually I use a candy thermometer but I also check the candy the old way. To do this you should drop a little of the candy mixture into cold water and see what it feels and looks like when to you take it out of the water with your fingers. If it is at the hard crack stage it should form strings (or small blobs, it doesn't always form strings in my experience) when it gets into the water and it should be hard to the touch; Also, when you taste it it should be brittle and not stick to your teeth (i.e. it shouldn't be chewy at all). If you want to know how to tell the other stages you can search online, but any older cookbook should also have that information.

Enjoy your candy making!

English Toffee (From Taste of Home Magazine)
2 cups Butter and a little additional butter for the pan
2 cups Sugar
1 cup Pecans or Almonds (sliced or crushed)
3/4 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
toffee when it first started boiling
Butter a 15x10 inch pan and set aside. In a medium sized saucepan over medium-low heat bring butter and sugar to a boil while stirring constantly. Once mixture is boiling, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Uncover and begin stirring again until mixture reaches 300 degrees (hard-crack stage) and turns golden brown. When the toffee gets close to this point it will have cooked down a far amount and will resemble a very thick syrup and it will pull away from the sides of the pan.

Pour the mixture into the buttered 15x10 inch pan and spread out evenly. Sprinkle nuts immediately over the toffee and press in with you fingers then sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Once chips have softened you may spread them around a bit if you wish.

Let toffee cool in the refrigerator for about 2 hours then break into pieces.

This recipe makes about 2 1/2 pounds of candy.

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