Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives every day by sharing her joy and love of life.
So Easy That Anyone Can Make It
I admit I'm not much of a baker or candy maker. I don't have the patience to stir the ingredients at the right temperature or to measure things exactly.
I'm a good cook, don't get me wrong. Cooking is an art. You throw stuff together and eventually, it tastes pretty good.
Baking and candy making, on the other hand, are more of a science. You have to measure exactly, mix according to instructions, and cook to the correct temperature.
In baking and candy making, simple things like butter and sugar turn into a delectable treat. Like any good science project, it works really well when you follow the directions exactly. If you don't, then you're likely to have an inedible, unrecognizable mess.
I tried for many years to make toffee. It almost always turned out grainy, too soft, too hard, or just plain wrong. It was never clear exactly what I did wrong—only that something wasn't right. I tried watching videos and reading different recipes, but nothing seemed to work.
Finally, last year, it all clicked into place. I'd like to share with you the perfect toffee recipe. It's easy, it doesn't take long, and it turns out perfectly. Every time.
- 1 cup almonds, thinly sliced
- 2 cups butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (12-ounce) package chocolate chips
Follow Instructions Closely
- Spread almonds in a thin layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from oven and set aside.
- Place butter in a large, heavy-bottom pan. I use a 10-inch cast-iron pan. After years of experimenting, the cast iron pan reliably works. It warms gradually and evenly, and it maintains an even temperature.
- Melt butter over medium heat.
- Add sugar, brown sugar, and salt to melted butter. Continue stirring butter and sugar constantly, until it begins to boil gently. DO NOT USE A PLASTIC UTENSIL TO STIR TOFFEE. IT WILL MELT!! Do not boil vigorously. Maintain a steady, gentle simmer and stir continually, until the mixture reaches 285 degrees on a candy thermometer.
- When candy reaches 285 degrees (soft crack stage), remove from heat. Do not remove at the softball or hardball stage. Do not wait until the hard crack stage. For best results, remove candy at the soft crack stage.
- Pour candy onto almonds and spread evenly across the cookie sheet. Allow toffee to cool until it is warm, but not hot to the touch (you can feel the bottom of the cookie sheet. It should feel warm to the touch, but not hot).
- Sprinkle chocolate chips over toffee and allow to soften for about 2 minutes. When chips are soft, spread evenly over the toffee and allow toffee to cool completely. Once cool, break into pieces and enjoy!
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What Did You Think?
While this toffee recipe is delicious as it is, you may want to add some of your own tweaks:
- Use chopped pecans or walnuts instead of almonds
- Use only white sugar
- Use milk chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate
Let us know what you did differently—and what you thought of the finished product—in the comments below.
Although this recipe is relatively simple, there are still some things that can go wrong.
First, when you add the sugar to the melted butter, be sure to stir constantly. The butter and sugar will be separated until they warm up and begin to simmer. Don't panic. This is normal.
The temperature will rise slowly at first, and then quickly. Keep an eye on the thermometer. Don't be tempted to turn up the heat.
Stir constantly as the toffee heats. If you don't, it may separate and the sugar can crystallize. This is not the end of the world. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, incorporating it completely, until the butter reincorporates and the sugar dissolves.
© 2018 Deborah Demander