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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday Recipe - Butter Toffee

I said I would, so here it is - butter toffee. Crunchy and sweet with just a hint of salt, you decide what you want on top. I prefer mine with semisweet chocolate and no nuts. This is a candy so it cooks very hot. Not a recipe suitable for children to help. It can be a bit tricky to get it right, but the result is well worth the effort. Candy is surprisingly easy to make. A good candy thermometer can really help until you get a feel for the different stages of boiling sugar mixes.

Butter Toffee

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 T. water
1 t. vanilla
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped nuts, optional

Butter or spray a large baking pan. I just use a heavy cookie sheet. Melt butter over low heat in 2 qt heavy-bottom saucepan. Add sugar and water, bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often. Cook and stir to soft crack stage, about 300 degrees. (Drop a tiny amount into a bowl of ice water. It should form brittle strands when it hits the water. If it's still chewy, not hard and cracking, cook it longer.) This will take about 15 minutes, keep stirring the whole time. The mixture will turn medium brown. This is the critical point. It will burn very quickly so watch it closely. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour onto the prepared cookie sheet. Tilt it back and forth to get the toffee to spread if you want it thinner. Let it cool for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Wait another five minutes. Spread chocolate to cover top of toffee. Sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired. Set the whole pan aside until candy is cool and chocolate is set. Pry candy off sheet; if you buttered it enough, it won't stick but you will have to break a little bit of suction. Break candy into bite-size pieces. Store in a loosely covered container, if you have any left over. Makes about 1 pound of toffee.