Sunday, July 24, 2011

English Toffee Candy

I am sharing a recipe that we usually make at Christmas time.  We make it for neighbors, friends and family.   Once they try it, they really REALLY want to remain our friends and stay close to us...LOL

I know it's not Christmas, but it is July and I have heard a thing or two about Christmas in July.

Making candy can be tricky and so it does take patience and time.  You cannot speed up the stages and expect to have a quality product. I cannot express enough that GOOD candy comes from the BEST products.

If you are unfamiliar with the stages of making candy, I have found a site that can tell you and show you this process  here.  Understanding the difference between soft boil and soft crack are what you will need to know for this recipe.

You also must have several kitchen tools on hand.  A candy thermometer is a must.  The pan you use is also something to consider.  I use a small, heavy sauce pan.  It has a copper lining  between two sheets of steel.  This allows the heat to cook more evenly.  I have made this before in a cheap pan and it does not turn out as well.

Use exact measurements.   Cooking is a science that does offer a lot of room for adaptations to our own style and taste buds. Candy making is more sensitive to alterations and should not be modified the first time you make a recipe.

I have made this recipe at high altitudes, sea level, in dry conditions and in very humid air.  The humid air will make it sticky if not left in an air tight container.  This is my only recommendation when making this toffee, keep it in a cool place. I keep mine in the freezer and it stays dry and crunchy.  I know some have had problems with it getting sticky, I have never had this problem in 24 years of making this.

English Toffee

2/3 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cups blanched almonds
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 -1 cup of pecans, chopped.

Cook over medium heat the first 4 ingredients in a sauce pan, stirring constantly until it boils (5-7 minutes).

Once it starts to boil,  stop stirring and add a candy thermometer and let it cook until it reaches 236 degrees (soft ball stage).

Add the 2/3 cup blanched almonds, continue cooking until the temperature reaches 275 degrees (soft crack stage).  You must stir constantly at this stage to prevent over cooking.

Remove from heat and add 1/4 tsp. baking soda.

I used a cookie sheet that I greased with butter first.  Immediately spread the toffee to a 1/4 inch thickness.  Immediately add chocolate chips and let set for 1 minute.  The chips will melt and you can use the back of a spoon and spread the chocolate over the toffee.  Add the nuts and gently push the nuts into the chocolate with your hands.

Put your cookie sheet into the freezer for 15 minutes or until hard.  Remove and break into bite size portions.  Store in an air tight container in a cool place.

Written by Sherron Watson

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