This recipe makes me think Christmas! My Mom and her family have been making this recipe for years, growing up my job was always the stirrer. I have many memories of my mom making a boat load of this stuff of all of our teachers at elementary school (remember I am one of 6 children). It is one of those traditional treats Huz cannot wait for me to start making after Thanksgiving. Usually he is begging me to make it the day after Thanksgiving, black Friday – HA, to Huz it is Toffee Friday! Technically you can make this treat anytime of the year, but in our family it is an after Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year thing! I have tried to really be thorough on this post so you are not intimidated. This recipe is not hard to make it is just a bit time sensitive at stages and requires a few of the right tools/ingredients to make your toffee a success… So let’s get to it!
- 1 Cup Butter (Must use butter, Land o Lakes is best but make sure you use BUTTER)
- 1 1/3 Cups of White Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of HONEY or Karo Corn Syrup (I use Honey as it has almost the same structure of Corn Syrup plus it is natural making my toffee less processed – I can here my mom cringe now as she prefers Karo Syrup, old habits die hard I guess)
- 3 Tablespoons of Water
- 2 – 6 ounces Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars (so you need 12 oz total, 6 oz for each side, keep reading it will make sense)
- Nuts (Optional) – Almonds finely chopped or Walnuts (I use Almonds: the sliced ones, then I lightly toast them for about 5 mins in oven at 350 & chop them)
- ***You will need a Taylor Brand Candy Thermometer*** or a good candy thermometer that reads up to at least 325 degrees.
- Picture below of all ingredients… It is so cool to think that when all the below are combined and cooked at the proper heat a chemical reaction happens and you get candy… YUM… now I am staring to see why Huz likes Chemistry so much! There is so much chemistry to food!
In heavy saucepan 2-3 quart size, melt butter then add sugar, honey (or karo corn syrup), and water. See picture of these stages below.
Stirring occasionally bring to boil and cook over a medium to medium high heat until it reaches 300 degrees – “Hard Crack” stage on your candy thermometer. Watch carefully and stir pretty constantly once it reaches 280 degrees, it will rise quickly. It colors and browns as it cooks. Here is a photo montage of this process, it helps a ton to see the different stages the candy goes through as it cooks.
Remove from heat when it reaches 300 degrees or the hard crack stage on your candy thermometer – this stuff is extremely hot, so be careful. Working quickly, stir well and pour/spread onto a large cookie sheet. We like to pour it out to an 11X11 inch size pan so you get a nice area to spread an even thin layer. NOTE: The cookie sheet will get very hot so it should be on a cooling rack or silicone pad (that is what I use). See pictures below!
Let begin to cool, after 2-5 minutes carefully touch top to make sure it is firm enough to wipe the top off with a paper towel (to remove excess oil) the paper towel should slide over easily without sticking.
Break apart 6 Ounces of a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar into individual squares and randomly place on top of warm toffee. Let sit until the chocolate melts then spread. Note – it is hard to find the larger bars so you might have to buy the 4.4 OZ bars and use 1.5 of them and that will give you just over 6 OZ per side, and the little extra chocolate is OK!
Optional: sprinkle a light coating of almonds or walnut finely chopped over top. I use Almonds: the sliced ones, then I lightly toast them for about 5 mins in oven at 350 & chop them and sprinkle those on top. Its has a nice flavor. See finished candy below!
Let this sit over night or until it is firm and set up (6-8 hours). When firm this will lift off the cookie sheet and turn it over to put chocolate on the other side. Some times it breaks into a few pieces, if it does just piece back together. Again wipe off the top of the toffee with a paper towel to remove any excess oil that may be there. Melt 6 oz of chocolate bar in a double boiler until melted then spread over top of second side of toffee. Optional: Top with light coating of finely chopped nuts and let sit until hard (5-7 hours).
When firm and chocolate has dried on second side, break apart with your hands, store in air tight container at room temperature and enjoy!
- DO NOT put this in the fridge to firm the chocolate faster this will cause the chocolate layer to fall off! Speaking from experience here people…
- Use a double boiler to melt chocolate on second side as this reduces the risk of burning your chocolate, like you can do in a microwave. Again speaking from experience.
- Disclaimer: This stuff gets VERY VERY hot when cooking so use extreme caution when removing from heat and pouring onto pan to avoid injury to your self or your counter-tops!
- This whole process from start of butter melt to spreading on the first side of chocolate takes about 30 minutes.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we do. To all my family and friend who make this recipe please feel free to chime in if I forgot a tip or suggestion.
As always I welcome your comments or questions! Enjoy ~ Megan