Thursday, December 2, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Sweets: English Toffee

I have been making English Toffee for over 30 Christmases and for the last 20 have used the exact same tin to store the toffee (shown below). My family votes this as one of their favorite Christmas sweets. I'll even be mailing part of this batch to Japan for a Christmas gift.
Unlike a lot of candies, there is no need to get out the candy thermometer for this toffee recipe. The toffee has three layers. The bottom layer is the all-star with a toasted almond and brittle caramel  base. Then there's a thick layer of milk chocolate, followed by finely chopped walnuts. Like peanut brittle or bark, simple break the cooled toffee into pieces. 


English Toffee
(Printable Recipe)
1 cup butter, plus 1 teaspoon
1 cup slivered almonds
5 teaspoons water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 bag (11.5 ounces) milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts 


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Melt the 1 teaspoon of butter. Spread the almonds out on a cookie sheet and toss with the butter. Roast for 15 minutes or until toasted, stirring often. Set aside.


In a heavy saucepan stir together the 1 cup butter, sugar and water. Bring to a boil and cook on high, stirring constantly, until golden brown and starts to leave the sides of the pan. Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and the almonds. Pour onto a greased cookie sheet. Immediately scatter the chocolate chips over the toffee mixture. When it begins to melt, gently spread out with a knife to smooth the top. Sprinkle with the walnuts. Allow to cool until the chocolate is solid and the toffee becomes brittle. Break into pieces.



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