Toffee for Christmas
Toffee for Christmas is a favorite with everyone. This is my most-requested candy recipe and I have gladly shared it with friends, family, and anyone else who asked. I loved the toffee sold by Warfel’s Candy Shop at the Dayton Farmers Market in Rockingham County so years ago began searching for a recipe that would duplicate it.
Sure enough, I found exactly what I wanted in the Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book (entire recipe is at the end of this post). I made a double batch yesterday so thought I would share it for those who would like to make some for their holiday festivities.
Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan and reduce heat to medium as candy continues to boil at a moderate, steady rate. As it cooks, the color will become golden-brown. Keep stirring, to prevent scorching, until thermometer registers 280 degrees F. Watch carefully and stir continuously at this point because it will burn easily.
When the thermometer reaches 290, the candy mixture will be a deep golden-brown. Remove from burner and, working quickly because it sets up fast, spread onto a cookie sheet that has been covered in aluminum foil. You don’t need to butter the foil because the toffee will not stick to it.
After spreading the chocolate (I use an offset cake icing spatula), it will take a couple of hours to harden to the point where you can break the toffee into pieces. It’s just a random process … pick a corner and begin breaking it. If you want to add toasted pecans or almonds to the top, do it immediately after spreading the chocolate. I used to add the nuts but it is so good without them that now I just omit them. The toffee stays fresh, if stored in an air-tight container, for several weeks and makes yummy gifts that are popular with just about everyone.
Happy candy making, and Merry Christmas!
Toffee Butter Crunch
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon light-colored corn syrup
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or almonds, toasted (optional)
1. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Set aside.
2. Butter the sides of a 2-quart heavy saucepan. In saucepan melt butter; add sugar, water, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils.
3. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 290 degrees F, soft-crack stage (about 15 minutes). Adjust heat as necessary to maintain a steady boil. Watch carefully after 280 degrees F to prevent scorching.
4. Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer. Pour candy into the prepared pan, spreading quickly.
5. Let toffee stand about 2 minutes or until set, then sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand 1-2 minutes. When chocolate has softened, spread over candy. Sprinkle with nuts (optional). Let stand until firm. When firm, use foil to lift it out of pan; break into pieces. Store tightly covered for up to 3 weeks.
Yield: 1.5 pounds
Note: Can easily be doubled. Do not triple the batch because candy will set up too fast.
Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell