I don’t remember the first time I tried English Toffee…and not because it wasn’t memorable. My very poor memory fails me all the time. I am sure, however that time stood still, a fairytale was in-the-making real-time, and there were fireworks. Lots of fireworks. Without a doubt, toffee is my all-time favorite Christmas goodie. There’s just nothing that can compare.
I love that super hard crack with the smooth chocolate and pecan topping. I love that it gets stuck in your teeth for later to enjoy over and over again (don’t think too much on that…it’s a little gross and a lot delicious).
It took me until last year to attempt English Toffee for the first time. I had staved off the need to create one of the most calorie-dense sweets known to man for as long as possible. My strong-willed self, particularly when it comes to all things culinary, felt it necessary to take on toffee.
With candy thermometer in hand, I swiftly ruined 2 batches of toffee and subsequently, pounds of butter and sugar went straight into the trash. I needed patience to master my skill, and I attempted yet again.
I finally found success and knew that from that point forward, toffee would always be a Christmas tradition.
While I learned a lot last year, apparently my patience is yet to be improved upon. Batch #1 of toffee this year went straight into the trash as the butter and sugar separated. I tried again, with a bit more patience and a true “medium” flame. I stirred enough…but not too much. I babysat the toffee just a bit, not getting caught up in Facebook pursuing this time.
Naturally, I made a second batch. One, to prove mastery (for another year to only be forgotten) and two, to fill the many tins of goodies that go to family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. This stuff is mmm mmmm MMMM good! Approved by all who sampled!
4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter
2 cups white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil, and cook until the mixture becomes a dark amber color, and the temperature has reached 285 degrees F (137 degrees C). Stir occasionally.
While the toffee is cooking, cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
As soon as the toffee reaches the proper temperature, pour it out onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the chocolate over the top, and let it set for a minute or two to soften. Spread the chocolate into a thin even layer once it is melted. Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate.
Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container. Yield: 32 ounces (32 one-ounce servings – about 2 pieces per ounce).
Nutrition Information (per serving): 227 calories; 16.3 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 18 mg. sodium; 21.3 g. carbohydrate; 0.15 g. fiber; 0.15 g. protein
That concludes 7 days of sugar (and 7 sweet recipes)…now, get to baking!
Holiday celebration #1 today!