Monday, December 15, 2008

Almond Toffee

I make almond toffee every year, not because anyone else requests it, but because it’s one of MY favorites. And while I’m more than happy with the flavor of the recipe I’ve been using for several years, it doesn’t always want to set up right. (If you also suffer from toffee-related problems, has an excellent page for toffee troubleshooting.)

So this year I decided to try a new toffee recipe, which is a recipe for classic toffee from Cuisine at Home, and then add my almonds in it as usual. I also adjusted the temperatures slightly. As always, feel free to substitute any nuts you like in place of the almonds.

This toffee is about twice as thick as my previous recipe, which makes the toffee flavor more pronounced. The toffee definitely set up better, although it was quite the workout trying to cut it into pieces. You can also slam the pan down onto the counter to break the toffee, but I’m a lover, not a fighter.

If you end up with leftover toffee after the holidays – although I’m not sure why you would – crush it and add it to cookies. Or cake. Or muffins. Or your cereal.

Almond Toffee
Makes 1¾ lbs.

1 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
2 sticks butter
2 c. sugar
2/3 c. hot water
2/3 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. table salt
1/3-1/2 c. slivered almonds (depending on how much you like almonds)

6 oz. milk chocolate chips
¼ c. slivered almonds

1. Coat a 9x13 pan with 1 Tbsp. butter.

2. Melt 2 sticks butter in large saucepan over medium heat, just until butter starts to boil.

3. Stir in sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt until combined. When mixture begins to boil, cover for 1-2 minutes to melt sugar crystals on side of pan. (The sugar crystals can make your toffee grainy. Nobody likes a grainy toffee.)

4. Remove lid, insert candy thermometer, and continue cooking mixture, stirring frequently. When mixture reaches 300 degrees, stir in almonds.

5. Immediately pour into pan, spreading evenly to edges of pan.

6. Let cool for 1 hour at room temperature. (Don't cool in the fridge, or your chocolate won't stick.)

7. Melt chocolate chips on stovetop or in microwave, stirring frequently. Spread onto set toffee. Sprinkle on almonds. Lightly press almonds into chocolate with back of a spoon. Let stand until chocolate sets.

8. Break toffee out of pan using fork or paring knife. Or slam it, if you’re willing to risk dislodging your chocolate and almonds (gasp!).

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