Monday, December 27, 2010

English Toffee

I adore Toffee.  It's the one candy I just can't stay out of no matter what.  Needless to say, I only make it at Christmas time.  

You might notice that this recipe has a lot of water in it.  Don't worry, your toffee won't have a lot of water in it when it's done.  The water all boils off before the candy finishes.   What the water does is lengthen the cooking time so the sugar has plenty of time to fully disolve.  That makes this candy very easy to make and it almost never sugars.   (By the way, this little trick works in any cooked candy recipe.  If you have one that sugars on you easily, add 1/2 to 1 c of water to the recipe and cook it as normal.  It will take quite a bit of the fiddly-ness out of the process.)


2 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c light corn syrup
2 c butter
1 c water
 dash salt

 Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottom, 4 quart pan.  Stir it together with a wooden spoon just for a few seconds and then put the lid on.  Wash off your spoon.  Cook over medium heat with the lid on until the candy begins to boil and steam leaks out from under the lid.  Let boil for a few minutes with the lid on.  Remove the lid, clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and begin stirring.   Do not stop stirring until the candy is finished.  Stir always.  Stir lots.  Stir because if you don't this will scorch and the butter will seperate.  (If you are really concerned about scorching, turn the heat down to medium low.)   Cook until the candy reaches 300 degrees, hard crack.  This will take ages, so have a friend to talk to or a book you can read while you stir.  (yes, I read while cooking.  Doesn't everybody? No, I only ruin things every once in a great while and I never mess up my candy.)  

When the candy reaches 300, immediately pour out into a lightly buttered rimmed baking sheet (like this one).  Only pour out what comes easily out of the pan.  Do not scrape it out or you'll mess up your toffee.   You can scrape it out onto a separate buttered, heat proof plate, though.  That's totally legal and it cools off faster.  After you pour out the candy, you are going to have to smooth it out with a silicone spatula.  Gently push it around the pan until the candy is level and fills the whole pan.  Now spread a chopped Giant sized Hershey bar over the pan of candy (that's the 6.8 oz size).  Let it sit until the chocolate is soft and then spread it around with a spatula.   Now leave your candy alone until it's cooled off and the chocolate is set.    Then break apart into random sized pieces.

Enjoy!   Have a good time with this one.  And thank you very much for giving me an excuse to make that pan that's sitting on my kitchen counter right now.

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