Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Come to the Dark Side - We Have Toffee

I made this for my team at work. I put it in a big glass jars and passed them around with the morning coffee. The third fellow who took a piece out of the jar poked his head out in the hallway as I was leaving and said, quite loudly, "Will you Marry Me??"

That would be a "no" but you can have more toffee.

It takes some patience and the hints will really help it turn out, but it's worth the trouble for special friends.

Dark Chocolate Toffee

2 cups butter (use the best quality butter you can buy, it's a key ingredient)
2 cups white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt
drop of Penzey's Mexican Vanilla
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips. With distinct smoke, wine and fruit flavors, this is not your childhood chocolate chip. Low sugar allowed the chocolate flavor to really shine and the shape makes for easy melting.)
1 cup finely chopped almonds and pecans, mixed

Instructions: (Basic instructions in BOLD, helpful hints in regular type).

Before you do anything, test your candy thermometer. It should be 212 degrees F. in boiling water with the thermometer about 1/2 inch off the bottom of the pan (don't let it touch). If off by much, get a new thermometer and make the recipe another day

In a large heavy bottomed pan (a wide heavy bottomed, fairly shallow cast iron skillet is perfect) combine the butter, sugar, salt and a drop of vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. (I whisked until the butter was melted with a wooden spoon, in an up and down motion, being careful to get all the separated butter from the sides of the pan incorporated.)

Allow to come to a steady but not rolling boil, and cook until the mixture becomes a dark amber color, and the temperature has reached 285 degrees F, (137 degrees C), stirring occasionally (it should not burn on medium). This takes about 20 minutes.

You are aiming for a final temperature of 285 to 295. The higher the temp the more brittle the toffee will be. 285 is the "soft crack" stage where the toffee may be somewhat soft and pliable after cooling. If it seems to be rising faster than that, turn the heat down a tiny bit. If slower, do NOT increase the temperature, just cook it longer. If you cook it too fast and too hot it will separate.

At 285 put a drop of toffee in a cup of ice water, it should be brittle. If not, cook to 295 for brittle, melt in your mouth toffee. I cooked it 5 minutes past 285 degrees and it was perfect. Remember to look for the dark amber color in addition to the cooking temperature.

When the toffee is done, pour into the prepared pan. If the top appears a little oily, blot with a clean paper towel, that will help the chocolate adhere. Sprinkle the chocolate over the top, and let it set to soften for a couple minutes, then spread into a thin layer. Sprinkle the almond/pecan mixture over the chocolate, pressing in slightly (put your hand in a baggie to keep the mess down).

Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container. In an airtight container it will freeze nicely for up to a year. During the winter, store a container of this in your chilly shop. It makes a wonderfully brittle treat with a cup of hot coffee after a trip to the range with your revolver and some .357 rounds.


  1. .357? You caliber elitist =) Looks wonderful though. You are forcing me out of my comfort zone with cooking though. Thanks for that!

  2. What the guy in the office said. ;)

  3. Try pouring the toffee over saltine crackers, then putting chocolate on top. Made a big pan, it's all gone. The salt adds a nice flavor and the crackers give a buttery crisp texture. Looks delish!

  4. "It takes some patience and the hints will really help it turn out, but it's worth the trouble for special friends."...

    Funny... sounds like marriage to me... lol...

    Dann in Ohio

  5. Food Porn. quelle surprise!
    I gotta make some with fructose and barley-malt chocolate chips!

  6. Not looking... nope, skipping the pictures...sigh... :-)

  7. A proposal for some toffee. Yeah, that would be me if I wasn't hitched. That looks fantastic.

  8. You're doing that "temptress" thing again. I'd complain, but you do it so well. :)

  9. Any day with Toffee = BEST DAY EVER!

  10. Never could get the hang of candy making. I have no patience.

  11. Brigid, Dave & I are trying to LOSE weight, not gain it!

    You're so cruel...


  12. That toffee is mighty tempting.

    I propose every time I read your blog, but it's probably a good thing you can't hear me. That would likely annoy both you and my wife.

  13. One of my fav things to make! Mind you, I prefer to use bar chocolate to chips in order to avoid the chipping ingredients (essentially, Crisco) but that very thing also aids in a hard chocolate surface so...

    If one has issues making candy, adding a tbl of corn syrup at the start can really help get the sugar crystals kicking...

    And molten sugar will get darker very very fast - exponentially faster than it cooked - so always pull it from heat and be ready to pour as you get near the shade preferred. It goes from delish to burnt quickly.

    I may just have to prepare some tonight!

  14. NO....I won't enlarge the pictures... I won't.... I won't..... I won't.....arrrrggghhh!


  15. The line between perfect toffee and burnt toffee is so very fine. Or it might have just been the lousy controls on the old electric stove I had at the time. Stirring often at the last stage of cooking helped some. I haven't made toffee for at least 4 or 5 years, because it is not very heart healthy. Toffee is definitely one of those candies that should be shared, but most of the folks I would share with are not allowed to eat things like that anymore.

    With putting the chocolate chips directly onto the hot toffee, do you have trouble with the chocolate blooming?

  16. If this is the Dark Side, I'm on my way...

  17. It just so happens that I have been on a kick with Skor candybars lately. This would be sooooo much better and well worth the effort!


I started this blog so the child I gave up for adoption could get to know me, and in turn, her children, as well as share stories for a family that lives too far away. So please keep it friendly, kid safe, and open to discussion, not criticism. This is my home. You can live in yours as you wish, but this is my place.