This recipe has been in the family for over 100 years. It has been tweaked through the years until it is the only English Toffee our family likes to eat.
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Effortless English Toffee
This English toffee recipe is a no fail method. Believe me, this wasn’t always the case.
This recipe has been in the family for over 100 years. It has been tweaked through the years until it is the only English Toffee our family likes to eat. Years ago as a teenager, I was taught how to make the recipe from my grandmother. My mother never did learn how to make it. However, my grandmother’s recipe was very finicky. If she didn’t so things just right, the recipe could separate or get grainy. So, she was very detailed in her approach to making this.
Grandmother’s Recipe Simplified!
The recipe is truly simplified. In fact, I would call it a no-fail method. Since I have tweaked it over the years, I have not had any issues at all! Yippie. Now, this recipe may look intimidating. Believe me when I tell you it shouldn’t be. It does take a bit of time, but I bet that your English toffee will turn out just great too.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. You can change the type of chocolate you use, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or even milk chocolate drizzles with white chocolate. You can change the type of nuts you use; I have used pecan, walnuts, and almond. I have also added cinnamon to the toffee while cooking. It all really depends upon your taste buds. Through all of my trials and tribulations of tweaking my grandmother’s recipe, my family and I like the recipe that I have provided here for you the best out of all of the variations.
It is essential to have a good candy thermometer. The nice thing about a candy thermometer; it will show you exactly where the hard crack stage is. No guess work trying to remember during the recipe. Because the ingredients continue to heat a bit when the burner is turned off, I generally turn off the burner once the temperature reaches 299 degrees. By the time that I get the kettle off the stove and poured onto the cookie sheet, it is 300 degrees.
My candy thermometer is almost 40 years old and my grandmother gave me the $10 to purchase it. Every time I make this English Toffee, I think of her. Warms my heart and gives me great memories.
What a treat it is!
I have to make many batches of this for family and friends near the holidays. Be careful, if you make this, you might have just started a new family tradition.
1cup almondsfinely chopped or ground (you can use walnuts o pecans too)
Chocolate and Nut Topping
16 ozmelting chocolateI prefer Ambrosia milk chocolate; you can also use milk chocolate chips
6ozalmondschopped very fine or ground in a food processor
Use a kettle that doesn’t set on easily and a wooden spoon. Add the butter and melt over medium-high heat.
Once the butter is melted, add the sugar, light corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Continue to cook and stir continuously for about 20 - 30 minutes. Cook until this reaches 300˚ F.
Hints: make sure to stir constantly, keep the wooden spoon in the mixture until done, and use a candy thermometer to tell when you reach the 300˚ F. This will help ensure that you do not have a grainy type texture in the toffee.
Here is the mixture after just a few minutes of cooking. The ingredients are just starting to come together.
This photo is of the mixture cooking about 10 minutes. Time to put the thermometer in the kettle. I make sure to keep stirring and don't forget to stir around the thermometer too.
When the toffee mixture reaches 300˚ F, (the color will be caramel colored) Remove from heat and pour in the 1 Cup of chopped-ground almonds and stir.
Once the almonds are all stirred in, it is ready to pour into the baking sheet. (I like having the nuts in the toffee mixture as it makes it much easier to eat. Along with having this heated to 300 degrees F. the hard crack stage, the addition of the ground nuts makes it just melt in your mouth).
Immediately pour into a 9 X 13” pan. I scrape out the kettle with the wooden spoon, then I get a stainless steel spoon to scrape the wooden spoon clean and spread the hot toffee in the 9 X 13” pan. It usually takes two…once the toffee begins sticking to one spoon, I use the other clean one and it is enough to get the toffee spread. (be careful, the mixture is very hot)
Once the toffee is spread, spoon on ½ of the melted chocolate and spread over the entire 9 X 13” pan. Sprinkle with ½ of the chopped almonds.
Put somewhere to cool. Once cool (you can touch the chocolate and the chocolate has hardened), put another clean 9 X 13” pan on top of the toffee and flip over. You might have to tap the pan a bit, but the toffee mixture should come out and be in the other container.
This will allow you to spread the rest of the melted chocolate over the toffee and sprinkle the rest of the chopped almonds. Once this is complete, set somewhere to let the chocolate that you just put on set.
Break apart and enjoy!
Clean-up hint: the candy mixture hardens, but if you fill it with water and let it set, the water dissolves the candy.
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