Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Treats

Now that Christmas is almost here, I've been thinking of the infamous "Neighbor gifts." I don't like giving them, don't have time to make them, but boy do I love to receive them! With absolutely NO time this Christmas season, I'm heading to the good ol' reliable this year. Anyone in my family knows exactly what this is, right Cristl and Chantel? English Toffee!!! 15 minutes, not a lot of cost, and a big YUM factor! So, I'm letting you in on the family recipe so you can take advantage of this yummy, easy treat.


1 cup whole almonds
2 sticks salted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup semi-sweet choc. chips
Brown paper bag (just because)
large cookie sheet

You can make this with pecans or walnuts, but I think almonds are the best. You can also make a double batch, but don't risk doing more then two batches at the same time. It may not work.

Follow the directions TO A "T" or you'll have a hard time getting the right result.
Before you start, it's best to get everything out and measured, because once you get started, you won't be able to stop going. Melt the butter on low in a medium-large pot. While the butter is melting, chop up the almonds so that they are in small pieces. Once the butter is completely melted, stir in the sugar and water and turn up the heat to medium high. Take 3/4 of the almonds and add to the pot (leave the tiny bits and crumbs for the topping). Stir with a wooden spoon and oven mitt because it's going to get hot! Hope your arms are strong because you're going to be stirring, a lot! It's going to start boiling and you have to keep it moving, so stir constantly and quickly, going over every part of the bottom of the part to avoid any burnt spots. Remember that paper bag? Well, this is when you need it because it will make you PERFECT toffee every time. Keep stirring and the candy will slowly start to darken in color. Watch that paper bag, because as soon as the candy is the same color as the bag (and you'll suddenly see a bit of smoke coming up) it's done! Grab your pot and dump all of the candy onto your cookie sheet. It'll start to spread like hot lava, so don't touch, cause it feeling like hot lava too. If you want fewer, thicker pieces, let it spread itself, if you want more, thinner pieces, take your wooden spoon and spread it out a bit (like spreading tomato sauce on a pizza crust). Wait a few minues and sprinkle those chocolate chips on top (while it's still hot). Let the chocolate chips melt and then spread that good stuff all over the top of your toffee. Don't forget those almond bits and crumbs that you saved, because those get sprinkled on top. Let it cool COMPLETELY (you can stick it in the fridge or freezer to hurry it along) and break it up using your hands into bite size pieces. Stuff it in a cute holiday mug or add it to a plate of other treats and that's it! Seems like a lot of directions, but once you make it once, you'll get the hang of it.

(linked to Kelly's Korner)


A Wedding Story said...

Oh my, TO DIE FOR yummy!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

The Jensen's said...


The Nothem Family said...

cant believe you shared the family reciepe with the world. Now everyone can make it and wont be begging or bribing us. I am doing the same thing this year, and found cute star shaped bowls for $1 to put it in. super cute!!!

Nancy Peacock said...

Hi Hayley,
I tried your recipe but it didn't work for me. I looked at another English toffee recipe and it said to add the almonds after boiling the butter, water and sugar for 10 minutes. We stirred and stirred like mad, with the brown bag beside us, but the mixture turned into more of a fudge like substance. Still good (my family says) but not English toffee. I followed your instructions very carefully. Maybe I did something wrong. Anyway, I might try again. We still had fun!
Nancy Peacock

Chantel said...

You gave away the brown bag trick, huh? Funny to hear that you use the little trick I came up with after I moved out and had different kitchen lighting.

The Erbes said...

Dam those look so good. You should send some in the mail to us. heheh

lyn said...

my question is: is it 1/2 cup or 2 sticks of butter? one stick in 1/2 cup but two sticks of butter is 1/2 lb (i believe it is anyway).

KT said...

I didn't know toffee was so easy to make! I'm going to have to try it. Thank you!
PS I'm totally with you on the whole neighbor gift thing. Love to get, don't know what to give.