Saturday, December 18, 2010

Toffee Heaven

A traditional treat for our family at Christmas is this delicious Heath-like toffee recipe that both my mother and my husband's mother used to make.

(click here to print recipe)

1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks--do not substitute margarine!)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
dash salt

12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli)
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

First, this is not a recipe to attempt when you will be distracted.  Trust me, I know.  It needs near constant attention and the bubbling liquid can burn you if you aren't careful!

Butter a half sheet pan (about 13x18") generously.  You can use a smaller pan (ex: 9x13") if you like your toffee thicker.  Just make sure whatever pan you use has sides, i.e, not a flat cookie sheet!

Place butter, sugar, water, and salt in a heavy saucepan or dutch oven.  I used my enameled cast iron pot that holds the heat well, but any good, heavy saucepan will work.

Bring to a boil, then clip candy thermometer to side of pan and turn heat down to medium.  Stir occasionally.  Use your candy thermometer to determine when it reaches 300 degrees (hard crack stage).  When it's getting close to finished, it is about the color of peanut butter.

Continue to boil and stir constantly, until it reaches a deep caramel color.

Immediately remove from heat and pour onto prepared sheet pan.  Use a long-handled spatula to spread the candy out thin. 

Allow a couple of minutes for the candy to set up, then sprinkle the chocolate chips over top.  The heat of the candy will melt the chocolate.  After giving the chips a few minutes to melt, spread out the chocolate and sprinkle with almonds.

Cool the candy for about 30 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator for another 30 minutes or until the chocolate sets.  Once it's completely cooled, use a metal spatula to lift the candy sheet and break it into shards.   Store in refrigerator.

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