Recipe | English Toffee

I now have a new favorite dessert to make going into the holiday season and I couldn’t be happier! Despite not being a “chocolate” person, I have always been a fan of toffee – more specifically, I have always been a fan of stealing my Mom’s Almond Roca hoping she wouldn’t notice. {Bad news about having so many siblings in the house is that when everyone takes 1 or 2 the jar disappears quickly}. This toffee is just like I hoped it would be: buttery, crunchy, a soft touch of chocolate, and coated with yummy almonds.

English Toffee
source: adapted from Paula Dean & Melissa Scheffel

Ingredients:
1 cup almonds
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp cold water
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

To make the roasted ground almonds:

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Grind 1 cup of whole raw almonds using food processor with ninja slice attachment. Spread almonds on cookie sheet and place into oven for 5 minutes. Rotate and shift almonds halfway through baking. Remove from oven and set aside.

To make the toffee:

Line 9×13 pan with foil. Lightly butter foil to insure easy removal. Put butter, sugar, and water in a heavy pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Bring to a bubbling boil, stirring constantly with spoon. The mixture should feel like whipped marshmallows and will start to darken and turn the color of carmel. This should take approximately 10 minutes. Add vanilla and remove from heat.

Evenly spread into foil lined pan. Sprinkle lightly with a few ground almonds. Let cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and after 5 minutes spread the chocolate around. Sprinkle with remaining roasted almonds and press lightly. Refrigerate until firm. Cool completely and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Tips:
Because not everything turns out as planned, my first batch was a disaster and the sugar separated from the butter! Now what I thought?! Despite googling several tips, I was unable to bring the mixture back to a marshmallow state and had to scrap it. However, I picked up a few tips which I implemented in my next attempt and I am happy to report that my second try turned out marvelously.
* Do not change heat drastically, if at all. In my first try, I was turning the heat up, down trying to get to a perfect medium-high. Whatever you deem medium-high to start, just keep with that for the entire cooking process.
* Continuously stir, don’t let toffee mixture sit – not even for a few seconds.
* Do not over cook. Take off once the mixture has turned the color of carmel.
* Use a spoon that can handle high heat. I used a wooden salad serving spoon the first time. The coating on the spoon blistered up.
* This stuff is HOT, so be careful.
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5 thoughts on “Recipe | English Toffee

  1. Ok Shannon,
    I made the toffee mixture twice. The first time I overcooked it waiting for it to turn color. The second time I did not but it never turned carmel color. White sugar, right not brown? Not sure what I’m not doing right. We shall see how it tastes.

    Michele

    • Hey Michele –
      While I am no expert and am not exactly sure what the problem may be, perhaps you can try a youtube video. Here is one that looks similar to how mine did: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glLywR53ISI&feature=related. Take a look at the 5 – 6 minute mark for the stirring process and to see the consistency. I kept stirring mine until it got “marshmallowy” and once it was “marshmallowy” I kept stirring (without adjusting the heat), until it started to turn brownish. When I took my mixture off of the heat, I didn’t think it had turned nearly brown enough, but I was afraid of it separating again (the butter and the sugar), so I took it off. It turned out to look much dark and the perfect color when all was said and done. (In the video he seems to mix his to a little bit more carmel color than mine was).

      Also, so you don’t keep wasting butter you can try a 1/2 batch and put it into an 8×8 pan instead of 9×13….

      Good luck and hope it turns out the third time around!

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