This post would have been handy a week or so ago when you were probably stressing about what to give those people in your life whom you sort of like, but who aren’t worth a trip to the mall. Oops, sorry. I told you I’m not good at this blogging thing. Well now that the season of giving is over, you should make this just for yourself and scarf it down before the New Year’s resolutions kick in.
If you aren’t familiar with candy making, this is a nice easy introduction. And no candy thermometer is necessary. Basically you cook water, sugar and butter until it is about done (more on that below). Then pour it out onto parchment paper. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Spread, then top with chopped pecans. Let it cool, break it up. Boom. Toffee. Details and better step by step instructions after the jump.
Chefsquire’s Toffee… step by step.
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1 stick unsalted butter
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1. Start by melting sugar, butter, and water in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. The most important thing about this recipe is to stir constantly. I like to use a spatula with a pointy end so I can get into the corners of the saucepan. Stir constantly for about 13 minutes. Don’t even think about leaving the stove. The mixture will start as a light bubbly, yellow liquid, and eventually become a deep amber concoction. The picture on the right is almost done (it’s tough taking pics while making candy!).
During the process keep a small bowl of ice water next to the stove. As you are cooking it you can test what stage in the candy making process the toffee is by just dropping a small amount of the mixture into the ice water. On the left is the mixture at the firm ball stage. On the right is the soft crack stage… where you should almost pour out the toffee. The difference between soft crack and hard crack is that soft crack it will bend a tiny bit before it cracks. Once you get to the soft crack stage, pull the pan off the heat, and stir for another minute since it will keep cooking.
2. Pour the toffee onto parchment paper. I ran out so I had to use tin foil. Make sure the paper/foil is very lightly greased.
3. Immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let the chips soften (about 2-3 minutes), then spread using a spatula.
4. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Press them into the chocolate gently. Here’s where I got crazy and added some sea salt.
4. Let it cool, then break it up into large chunks.
I hope you enjoy. If you make it and have any suggestions please let me know in the comments.