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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sugar, Butter & Water. AKA "Toffee"

Are you surprised that when you put together these three ingredients you get yummy magical goodness.   Is it really difficult to go wrong with butter and sugar together.  Last year, my friend Heather and I went to the Christmas Show in Toronto and there was a booth selling chocolate covered toffee.   Actually there was actually two booths, each a little different,  so we decided to buy a pound each and split it.  That plan never happened because we never got the chance to split it and I ended up eating my bag all to myself.   Ooops..Sorry Heather, but I am trying to create more for you.    The tricky thing is actually turning those three ingredients into hard toffee.  Some recipes also use brown sugar and corn syrup but I think I will try one of those next.   I had made toffee once in the past and I decided not to use my candy thermometer and just go by time in the recipe.   Note to all : Use a candy thermometer.  :-P  It had turned out soft and not nearly as crunchy as this batch and not nearly as tasty. I  adapted this recipe from the Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook. 

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans

1) In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, heat sugar, butter and water to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat to medium.  Cook about 13 minutes, stirring constantly to 300F on candy thermometer or until small amount of mixture dropped into cup of very cold water separates into hard brittle threads.   

2. Immediately pout toffee onto ungreased large cookie sheet.   If necessary, quickly spread mixture to 1/4 inch thickness.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips, let stand 1 minute or until chips are completely softened, then spread evenly.   Sprinkle with pecans.

3. Let stand at room temperature about 1 hour or refrigerate if desired until firm.  Break into bite size pieces.  Store in airtight container. 

1. I didn't stir constantly as I was always taught in to not touch the pot when you are creating caramel.   I used a wet brush and water to prevent crystallization.
2. I used a mix of dark and semi sweet chocolate, as well as more than 1/2 cup.  1/2 cup is clearly not enough!
3. I also used slivered almonds instead of pecans and did a quick toasting in the oven (350F for about 4-5min) 

Although I waited for the thermometer to reach 300F, I don't think the toffee was quite ready as some of it was quite runny when I went to pour it on the sheet.   I also didn't love the almonds, so I may actually try the pecans next time.  Oh yes, there will be a next time. It is my goal to perfect toffee.

I swear my next recipe will have no toffee of toffee bits. 

Meg's Rating: D-EE-LICIOUS!

(This is my practice at creative shots for photography class)

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