This English toffee recipe is an all-time favorite with our family. I’ve made it every year since I got married, and it’s fun to do. You can make it too, but plan ahead because although it isn’t difficult, it does require time. It takes a day for the candy to cool and harden, then it usually takes several hours for the chocolate to set up. In the end, it’s worth it!
Easy Step-By-Step Instructions for Toffee
Before you begin, fill a small dish with cold water. I put a few ice cubes in mine, and if they haven’t melted within a few minutes, I remove them.
(I use this cold water to test my toffee for doneness, but if you prefer to use a candy thermometer, that works as well. I’ll give temperatures to you later).
Line a half size baking sheet with parchment. If you want to cut this recipe in half, line a 13 x 9 baking pan.
In an 8 quart pot, combine the following.
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
½ cup HOT water
¼ cup dark corn syrup
(It’s helpful to melt the butter before adding the other ingredients).
Stirring constantly, bring to a full boil.
Toffee cooks fairly quickly. Be sure to keep stirring, and you’ll see it change.
It will begin to get stickier. You’ll see it stick as it pulls away from the sides of the pan, and …
… the color changes.
As it gets darker, it starts to move in one mass as you stir. It needs to be cooked to the hard-crack stage. If you’re using a candy thermometer, that’s 300-310 degrees F. Be very careful because at this stage, the candy is only one step away from burning.
To test it with the water, remove it from the heat, and drizzle a few drops from the stirring spoon …
… into the cold water.
If the candy makes a cracking sound as it hits the water, It’s done. Leave it in the dish just long enough to cool completely. When you remove the little threads from the water, they will be brittle and easily snap. If they bend instead of break, the candy isn’t quite ready. Continue cooking and stirring.
When it’s ready, quickly pour it into the prepared pan.
Make it as thin a layer as you can, and …
… let it cool completely.
Now it’s time to prepare the chocolate. Here’s how I do it.
Taking care that no water touches it, temper 1 ½ pounds of high quality milk chocolate as follows.
Melt it in a bowl over simmering (not boiling) water until it reaches 112-120 degrees F. Stir frequently.
Remove from heat, stir in the remaining ½ pound of chocolate, and …
…. stir until it cools to 80-81 degrees F.
Hold it over the simmering water for just a few seconds. It needs to be between 84-87 degrees F. Now it’s ready.
Pour half of the chocolate onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and spread it out.
Carefully, lift the hardened sheet of toffee from it’s parchment, and lay it on top of the chocolate.
Pour the other half of the chocolate on top of the toffee, and spread it evenly.
Sprinkle the top with sliced almonds (crushed a little in your hand), and let the chocolate harden for several hours, at room temperature. Don’t refrigerate!
Once the chocolate is hardened, again, …
… break into pieces, and …
Free Printable Recipe for Toffee
- 2 cups butter
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup HOT water
- ¼ cup dark corn syrup
- 2 pounds quality milk chocolate
- 1/2 - 1 cup chopped raw almonds (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- Line a half-size baking sheet with parchment.
- Prepare a small bowl with cold water. Keep this next to the stove to test the candy.
- Melt the butter in an 8 quart pot.
- Stir in sugar, water, and corn syrup.
- Stirring constantly, bring to a full boil.
- As the cooking progresses, be very vigilant in stirring, as it will burn easily.
- Continue to boil, stirring constantly, until it reaches the hard-crack stage. (300-310 degrees F) If you don’t have a thermometer, you can tell it’s ready because it changes from golden to a deep caramel color. Remove from heat, and test by drizzling it into the bowl of cold water. If the candy forms threads that make a cracking sound as they hit the cold water, the candy is ready. The threads will snap in half and be very brittle. At this point all water has cooked out of the candy. You are one step away from burning it. Don’t burn it!
- Pour the hot candy onto the parchment lined pan, and spread it as much as you can.
- Allow it to cool completely.
- Temper the chocolate, and pour half of it into a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Lay the toffee on top of the chocolate.
- Then spread the rest of the chocolate on top of the candy.
- Sprinkle with almonds, and allow to set up. This usually takes several hours.
- Break into pieces, and enjoy.
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