Sunday, July 24, 2011

Best Ever English Toffee Recipe

Best Ever English Toffee Recipe

English toffee is one of the tastiest candies to make and serve, especially during holidays like Christmas. Trying to come up with a simple but special thank you gift for a child's teacher or coach? Want to serve party guests something to rave about and remember? Try making a batch of homemade English Toffee.

Chocolate Toffee Makes a Great Gift

Guests will appreciate the candy, and gift tins bearing homemade English toffee will be gladly received by teachers, coaches, neighbors and relatives. It also makes a great party favor. At Christmastime, organize a cookie exchange with friends and bring several batches.

Cici's Italian Ristorante in Fremont, California has a local supplier make this recipe for them, and they offer a small plate of the candy to customers at the end of their meals. The English toffee is wildly popular and customers often ask if they can purchase a box of it.
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Candy-making can be tricky to master, but the key to success is an accurate candy thermometer. English Toffee must reach a hard crack level of 300 degrees. It cannot be one degree less or else it will not harden properly and the sugar will stay granular. The thermometer also should not touch the bottom of the pan or the reading will be inaccurate. The bottom tip of the thermometer should suspend inside the butter/sugar mixture. The confectioner who diligently uses a candy thermometer should obtain superb results. Here is a best-ever recipe for English Toffee candy that has been handed down for generations:

Best Ever English Toffee Recipe Ingredients:
  • 2 Giant 8 oz. Hershey bars, or 16 oz. (450 g) milk chocolate divided in half (Trader Joe's offers delicious 17 oz. bars of Belgian chocolate called Pound Plus that are excellent for this recipe)
  • 2 cups (300 g) finely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3 cups (600 g) granulated sugar
  • 1+1/2 lb. (681 g) SALTED real butter (do not use unsalted butter or margarine, or the recipe won't turn out)
Recipe Directions:
  • Grate 8 ounces (225 g) or one of the chocolate bars and set aside.
  • Boil sugar and butter while stirring constantly on medium heat to hard crack level (300-305*F or 149*C) on candy thermometer. IT MUST REACH THIS LEVEL, NO MATTER HOW IT LOOKS.
  • Tip: Start off at medium high and then lower the temp as it gets closer to 300*F (149*C). Watch it like a hawk.
  • Pour mixture onto large ungreased cookie sheet with sides (jelly roll size) and immediately spread on the grated chocolate. Smooth over top.
  • Sprinkle half of the nuts on top. Cool till hard.

  • Melt the other 8 oz. (225 g) or other bar of chocolate in double boiler or in small saucepan on very low heat, stirring constantly.
  • Tip the cooled toffee out onto wax paper and spread other side with the melted chocolate; sprinkle rest of nuts on and cool till hard.

  • Then crack into small pieces with knife. Makes lots--a pitcher full!

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