January 12, 2010

Old English Toffee

Hello, world! Remember me? I know I haven't been around much lately, but I have been a little busy. It all started with a cleaning binge I went on immediately upon my return to Mini Soda last week. The result was a much improved state of my kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, but it was exhausting and the last thing I wanted to do afterward was make my kitchen messy again by cooking a big meal in it.

The cleaning binge was followed by another kind of binge that tends to happen when 30 twenty-somethings are hanging out in a gigantic house in northern Minnesota in the dead of winter. Snowmobilers, ice fishermen, bikini contest participants and law students are the only people dumb enough to go up north in January. One of those groups is also dumb enough to spend hours in an outdoor hot tub with only a few walls and screens to protect them from the subzero temperatures. I'll give you a hint: it's not the bikini contest participants.

The point is I've been a little preoccupied and I've spent virtually no time in the the kitchen unless I was throwing together a sandwich or making a bloody mary. Fortunately I have a few things left over from my time in Iowa that I haven't posted, including this recipe for toffee. I've posted before about Saltine Toffee, which I still think is a fine alternative to the real thing. The real thing is incredibly easy to make, though, so why not try it out?

Just like the caramel recipe I recently posted, this toffee recipe comes from Old Fashioned Candy Recipes from Bear Wallow Books.


1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
At least 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts

Just like when making caramels, it's helpful to have all of the ingredients measured out beforehand. You can hold off on the chocolate and nuts since they won't be used until later, but you should have everything else ready.

Combine the sugar, butter, water and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the temperature reaches 300*. When it hits 300 remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

*Be sure to use a utensil that can handle high heat.

Pour the mixture into an ungreased pan and let it cool. I used a big pizza pan, but a rimmed cookie sheet or a jelly roll pan would also work.

Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler or in the microwave and spread it over the toffee. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts. I used half pecans and half pistachios because I couldn't make up my mind, and both were tasty. Let the chocolate and toffee cool completely before breaking it into pieces.


Anonymous Stephanie said...

I've made toffee in the microwave before because candy thermometers scare me. One time a bowl broke from the heat so it may not be the smartest thing to do... but it is possible!

January 12, 2010  
Blogger Kirsten said...

Toffee in the microwave?! That's awesome! And it terrifies me at the same time. You should give the thermometer a shot one of these days - I swear it's really easy and (hopefully) doesn't result in broken bowls.

January 21, 2010  

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