Sunday, January 18, 2015

Perfect English Toffee Tutorial

Perfect English Toffee 
By Amy
The ultimate holiday treat! Everyone’s FAVORITE! This step-by-step tutorial for English toffee will show you how easy it is to make Perfect English Toffee (and without a candy thermometer too!)

I'm glad you came for this toffee tutorial!  These detailed step by step instructions will help you make delicious English toffee.  

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My mom was so dedicated in making goody plates piled high with amazing homemade treasures. She would work for hours making several different varieties of cookies and candies. She would plate them perfectly, wrap them in festive cellophane, and label them with Christmas tags. She would take such care to prepare them…but she didn’t take as much effort to hide them from the children who could sniff out the smallest bite of chocolate. We, of course, would find them tucked in the cupboard behind a small stack of books…and every couple hours we would sneak in and take just 1 delectable
treat from each plate. The trouble was…when a few kids have the same idea, and the sweet treasures are so irresistible…things go missing.  When the time came to deliver the sweet gifts…the plates were lean at best, or bare at worst. I’m sure we got in trouble….but what I remember most is how
delicious the English Toffee was! It was the favorite! To this day….it is still irresistible.  Now I make this for my own family, and I’ve learned to hide things in the most unsuspecting places… in the bottom of a basket of clean laundry….or in a large tool box….:)  We have made this Perfect English Toffee for years. It is the ultimate combination of toasted almonds, buttery-crunchy toffee and chocolate.  So easy…but you have to work fast! Get all your ingredients prepped ahead of time, and you will be thrilled with the amazing results! We make this every holiday season.

The original recipe is taken from the family favorite Better Homes and Gardens
red plaid cookbook.

Get ready, get set, GO!

Yes this is a lot of butter….  You will need:

2 cups chopped almonds….toasted
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 TBLE light corn syrup
6 TBLE water
1 ½ cup mixture semi and milk chocolate chips
Bowl of ICE to test the caramel sauce

Chop nuts and toast in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes….EVERY 5 MINUTES take the pan out and stir/toss the nuts so they roast evenly. My oven does not cook evenly so this is necessary at my house. If your oven cooks perfectly evenly…you are lucky. 

Love the aroma of almonds toasting…..Spread half of nuts on a butter-greased jelly roll pan. Take care to keep the nuts away from the edges.

Melt butter in a HEAVY sauce pan….get your bowl of ice ready!  Butter the sides of a HEAVY saucepan. Melt butter in saucepan, then add sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook over MED-LOW heat, stirring consistently, until sugar is dissolved. 

Bring mixture to a boil over medium-LOW heat, stirring and scraping bottom of pot consistently until the sugar is dissolved.  Then turn up the heat to MED-HIGH and bring to boil.  Once mixture boils, reduce heat to medium and continue cooking….about 15 minutes.

Look at how light and creamy the mixture looks at the beginning. The ice test will result in a caramel sauce texture. Now, watch the color and texture change in the next few steps….

P.S. The ice test is more consistent than any candy thermometer I have used…save your money! Just drip the hot toffee onto the ice cubes. When it cools, check the consistency of the toffee.

After boiling over medium heat for about 8 minutes, the mixture is turning golden brown….

Drip some hot toffee onto the ice cubes. When it cools, see if it is crunchy. After 8 minutes, the ice test results in a chewy caramel texture. Keep stirring….it’s going to start turning a slightly darker caramel color.

After about 15 minutes of cooking and stirring….the mixture is the color of a brown grocery bag.

Now let’s do the ice test. The ice test should result in a crunchy toffee texture.

This is perfect! It breaks in your mouth and is crunchy…but your teeth don’t stick together. Look carefully and you can see the first toffee ice test on the right side of the bowl. Compare the difference in color between the first ice test when the mixture was a caramel sauce consistency and the last test when the toffee is crunchy and amazing. This is how much the color will change. PERFECT!

Pour hot toffee mixture over toasted almonds. Incidentally….this picture was super hard to get….this shows how much I love you all! Try pouring boiling hot toffee with one hand and taking a picture with the other…a serious juggling act!

Let toffee cool for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with a mixture of milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips….Let chocolate soften for a few minutes. When chocolate is warmed, spread evenly over toffee….delish! This looks amazing! The chocolate chips spread perfectly!

Sprinkle the remaining toasted almonds on top of warm chocolate. Cool until chocolate is set.
Carefully break toffee into small pieces using a knife and mallet. Enjoy!

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Perfect English Toffee
2 cups chopped almonds….toasted
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 TB light corn syrup
6 TB water
1 ½ cup mixture semi and milk chocolate chips
Bowl of Ice (to test the hardness and texture)

*Toast almonds by spreading them out on a jelly roll pan and baking them in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes….TAKE PAN OUT EVERY 5 MINUTES TO STIR AND TOSS NUTS….this toasts them evenly.

*Butter another jelly roll pan. Once almonds are toasted, sprinkle HALF of nuts onto the buttered pan…make sure to keep nuts at least 1 inch away from sides.

*Butter sides of a HEAVY saucepan. Melt butter in saucepan, then add sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook over MED-LOW heat, stirring consistently, until sugar is dissolved. Then turn heat up to MED-HIGH heat and bring to boil. Continue cooking while SLOWLY and CONSISTENTLY STIRRING the mixture.

*Cook and stir over medium heat until the soft-crack stage (about 15 minutes). I
don’t use a candy thermometer any more….they proved inconsistent. Now I use the ice method: Place a small bowl of ice next to the pot you are stirring. After you have been stirring the candy for about 12 minutes, drizzle a small amount of hot mixture onto the ice. Continue stirring your pot as the candy cools. Pick it up and bite the toffee. When done it should easily crack and crunch in your mouth….not sticking to your teeth. If it bends like stiff caramel….keep cooking.
Towards the end of the cooking….be VERY, VERY consistent with your stirring. The toffee will suddenly turn the color of a brown grocery bag. This is when you will want to remove it from the heat and do another ice test with the hot mixture. When it is ready it will crack and break easily as you chew it.  Don’t stress….just stir consistently….keep dripping the hot toffee on the ice cubes and you’ll know when it’s done.

*When candy is done cooking…pour it carefully over the toasted almonds waiting
in the jelly roll pan. Take care to cover all the nuts.

*Let stand about 5 minutes and sprinkle chocolate chips over top of warm toffee.
When the chocolate is softened, spread it evenly over toffee. Sprinkle with
remaining almonds. Chill until firm. Using a knife and mallet….carefully break
toffee into delicious bite size pieces. Store in an air-tight container.

Try not to eat this for dinner….you will be hooked after the first bite…just warning
you! This is killer good! DELISH!!! 


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  1. I just made this but with peanuts instead of almonds because I'm allergic, and it was fantastic.

    1. AWESOMENESS! I am so happy to hear that you liked it and that this tutorial helped you! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. You make it sound completely doable. Pinned! And glad to find another Mormon blogger. :)

    1. We hope that it works for you! And YES . . . we love our Mormon blogger friends!

  3. I would love to pin this because its yours (the original) but I don't see how

    1. Just hover over a picture and you'll see the Pin It button. Does not work that way in mobile view though.

  4. I've been making English Toffee for years and my mom before that. Sometimes when I use butter, it separates into a greasy mess. Mom discovered that Imperial Margarine will seldom, if ever, is much cheaper and the taste is very good. Butter is the ultimate but you might want to try this. Sorry to say that I suggest not to use any other kind of margarine because it too may separate. Thank y out for this recipe and I love the idea of pouring it over nuts and adding a little corn syrup.

    1. Thanks for the tip! It's always nice to hear other ideas!!

  5. I made English toffee for a number of years, and never had a problem. A couple of years ago I made it, but it didn't work, the margarine Imperial) separated I tried again thinking maybe I had done something wrong.I made it with butter, but had the same problem. My recipe doesn't call for corn syrup. Is that the problem?

  6. Hi Caroline!!
    Thank you for your question! Thanks to you I realized I need to add this instruction to the recipe above.
    Here's the secret to keep your toffee from separating:

    Start with medium low heat and stir sugar mixture until sugar dissolves in the butter. THEN turn the heat up to med-high. STIR SLOWLY AND CONSISTENTLY as the mixture cooks. This will solve your separation problem.

    Notes: Using salted butter also helps keep the toffee from separating.

    The addition of corn syrup keeps the sugar in the toffee from crystalizing!

    Let me know if this helps!!
    Love and toffee,
    Amy J! 😁

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  8. Looks great! Can you tell me about how much this recipe will make? I would love to do this as treats for the office this year and would like to know how many batches I will need. Thanks!

  9. Hi Haley!!
    One batch makes a jelly roll pan full of toffee. This is the equivalent of 5 dessert plates full of toffee, stacked in 2 or 3 layers. Break the toffee into 1 inch by 1 inch squares and you will fit more pieces per plate, plus you will get more out of each batch.

    Just a WARNING: After this year you will be FAMOUS for this toffee!! The office staff will talk about it all year...AND they will beg you to bring it every year from now on. Just sayin'! This is CRAZY DELISH AND SO EASY!!
    Love and toffee,
    Amy J.!!

    1. It turned out perfectly!! Soooo good!! Thank you for your reply!

  10. OMG! BEST. TOFFEE. EVER!!!!! I have been trying recipes for YEARS and always had issues with the chocolate falling off the toffee or it not being "cracked." Your ice trick beats my candy thermometer EVERY time! do you stop yourself from eating the whole thing yourself?! LOL

    1. Yay!! I'm so happy to hear that this works you!! And I'm glad you liked be it as much as we do!!!


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