I have officially become an Oakland resident, and am officially a SAHM, and am officially a fish out of water. New place, meeting new neighbors and not having a job to drive to-it’s enough for me to freak out and retreat into making sugary goods as a coping mechanism. Who needs to unpack, anyway? I’ve been diligently arranging play dates to meet other moms in the neighborhood as well to hopefully find Emily some playmates, so those families are reaping the benefits!
The other day I had intended to make my Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies, but I got lazy and decided to make English Toffee. Gratification comes much faster with toffee!
My go-to recipe is adapted from one I found on Allrecipes, but I HAD to alter the recipe a bit. Because that’s what I do. In any case, it’s still easy and makes a great gift, especially if you have all the packaging materials on hand that every blogger mommy hoards, such as colored twine, washi tape, kraft boxes and/or cellophane bags.
Before you start, make sure you have all your ingredients on hand, weighed or measured out and that your thermometer is calibrated. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, boil a pot of water and stick your thermometer in. It should read 212 degrees Farenheit when the water boils. This is how you know your thermometer is accurate. If you don’t do this step, it’s not a big deal. You’ll probably just end up with brick hard toffee that will break your children’s teeth. They were gonna fall out anyway.
Easy English Toffee
- 2 cups/455 g. unsalted butter
- 2 cups/400 g. white sugar
- 1/2 t. fine sea salt (salt helps to stabilize the cooking sugar-if you’re anti-salt, don’t skip it-just reduce to 1/4 t.)
- 1 t. vanilla (I use vanilla bean paste)
- 2 c./350 g. semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips/chopped chocolate
- 1 c./150 g. toasted sliced almonds
-Line a jelly roll pan, or other pan that is about 10″x 15″ with foil or parchment paper. I like foil because it’s easier to work with.
-In a heavy bottomed 4 or 5 quart pot, cook the butter, sugar, and salt together over medium heat. Stir until it comes to a boil, then STOP stirring and place your thermometer in the pot. Cook until it reaches 285 degrees Farenheit and is dark amber-ish. Stir or swirl occasionally during this process. If you constantly stir, you risk the butter separating from the herd. This should take about 20-40 minutes depending on the weather, humidity, alignment of the planets.
-Once it hits 285, take the pot off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Immediately pour mix into your lined pan and tilt to evenly spread. Sprinkle the chocolate over the top and let it sit for a bit to melt. Then with a spatula (the GIR ones rock), gently spread the chocolate over the toffee.
-Evenly sprinkle the almonds over the chocolate and gently push them in. (I actually skipped this step, but I had a lot of fallen soldiers once I started breaking the toffee).
-Place the pan in the fridge to set, about 45 minutes.
-Take the pan out and break into pieces. The easiest way for me to do this is to take a butter knife and chisel it in with a mallet. Or you can wear gloves and snap it apart. Whatever creates the most gratification for you!
-I store the toffee in an airtight container at room temp, but keep in mind that your chocolate isn’t tempered and is slightly soft. Anything that I’m using as a gift, I package in all things pretty, and store in the fridge until I’m ready to distribute.
Done, and done. Peace out.