My sister got me into candy making during the holidays. It is a fantastic gift to give (at least I'd like it if someone gave me a box of homemade candies). I use a book called "Who Wants Candy" by Jane Sharrock and I adore it. The pages are marked up I have a dozen lists going in it. When I got it a few years ago I made toffee and it came out perfectly. Creamy and buttery. Then something cursed me. For the past two or so years I have tried to make it and every time it has ended up grainy and discolored. One batch calls for ONE POUND of butter. Seriously. I don't know if you have been to the grocery store to buy butter lately but it isn't cheap. I think it was last year that I was determined to get it right and made like 4 bad batches. I gave up that year.
New year, new slate. I waited until the house was quiet and I had plenty of time. No interruptions. I talked to myself and told myself this was going to be successful. I was going to stir SLOWLY. I was going to watch for sugar crystals. I was NOT going to panic. About half way through I was sure it was going to end as a bad batch. I poured it over the pecans and almost threw the pan. I waited a minute and touched the toffee and it was still soft. I didn't cook it long enough! I ruined it! Still...I put the pan outside (where it was 16 degrees) and waited a half hour. I brought the pan in and broke off a corner.
Creamy. Buttery. Sweet. Ohhhhhhhhhhh so good.
Marry Me Toffee
Who Wants Candy by Jane Sharrock
Yield - 2 or so pounds
2 - 2 ½ cups chopped toasted almonds (I use pecans)
6 (1.55 oz) Hershey’s milk chocolate bars
1 lb good quality butter
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Scatter about half the almonds over 2 baking sheets, reserving the remaining almonds for the topping. Break the chocolate bar into pieces.
2. In a heavy 3 quart sauce pan over medium heat, bring the butter, sugar and water to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Cook, stirring constantly to the hard crack stage (300°F).
3. Remove from the heat. Quickly stir the vanilla. Immediately pour over almonds. Immediately place chocolate pieces on top of hot toffee. The chocolate will melt within a few minutes, use a flat metal knife to spread chocolate. Sprinkle reserved almonds on top of chocolate.