Brown Sugar Toffee with Chocolate and Toasted Almonds is a fabulous way to jump into the world of candy making (no, you don’t need Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas to help), and it uses up some of the 10 pounds of almonds that you thought would be a great idea to buy.
You see, I logged a lot of miles this week because of a Soccer Tournament (forth and back, forth and back) (see… I didn’t go back first, I went forth … nevermind). On the plus side, every trip took me past my absolute favorite fruit and vegetable stand (of course I have a favorite fruit and vegetable stand.. don’t you?) Pedrick Produce in Dixon not only sells the best/freshest produce, they also carry a large assortment of nuts (got an image of your family sitting on shelves? I do) Ok, so on this trip I bought a load of almonds… probably way too many almonds….. and now I needed to DO something with all of those almonds.
This easy toffee recipe is made with brown sugar, so it develops a deep caramel flavor, the almonds are toasted first, then stuck onto the toffee with chocolate (my favorite glue). The toffee is crunchy and delicious, and of course, nutty (like my family).
If you’ve never made candy before…Brown Sugar Toffee is a good place to start. (If you have made candy before, this will be a snap). Just make sure you read all the directions first… have a look at the photos so you know what I’m talking about… and most important of all….
*****Have all of the Ingredients and Tools ON HAND AND READY TO GO before you start****
(Seriously, you will be working with hot sugar… and it gets REALLY HOT. You want to exercise caution.)
So, put on your apron, get your ingredients prepped… and get ready to make some candy!
(I’ve included step-by-step photos below to help you along)
Serves: Makes a Pan of Candy… so… enough for one hungry teenager
Brown Sugar Toffee with Toasted Almonds
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours including cooling enough to cut
3/4 cup Butter (unsalted)
1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Tbl light Corn Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup Chopped Toasted Almonds
1 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Make sure you have all the ingredients and tools laid out and ready to go. It’s probably a good idea to make sure the kids are happily occupied during the critical sugar boiling phase…or you might have to start over (with the sugar, not the kids… please sacrifice the sugar)
If you haven’t already, toast the almonds. I usually put them in a 350 degree oven on a cookie sheet (with a rim) for 5 to 10 minutes. Watch them or they will burn… stir occasionally. When the ovens are toasted… chop them up. I use a food processor or an Ulu knife (kind of a curved knife in a bowl) but any way you can get those almonds chopped works. Ok.. you can divide the almonds between 2 bowls, and put it by your work station.
Get out a jelly roll pan (yes, a cookie pan is fine…any pan with a rim should be good… if you only have brownie pans, you may want to use 2) Grease the pan. I use the inside of the butter wrapper (my Oma’s trick)… you can use spray stuff. Set it on the work station…
You need a cup of ice water and a pastry brush….near stove (you will be using it to brush down sugar crystals in the pan…. and, you can plunge your finger in it if you need to).
Fill a bowl with the chocolate chips.
Get out a heavy bottomed saucepan (heavy bottom is good for even heat) and a candy thermometer (yes, I’m afraid you will need one), and a wooden spoon.
Put the butter in the saucepan, and melt over low heat.
Add the Brown Sugar (just dump it in) and stir until the Brown Sugar is dissolved. This takes a while… stir, trying not to splash too much.
Wash down the edges of the pan with a pastry brush that you dipped in ice water. You can feel if the brown sugar is melted by tapping the wooden spoon on the bottom of the pan… when it doesn’t feel crunchy, you are there. (I also pull the spoon out an look at the back of the spoon… you can see crystals if it’s not ready).
Wash the sides of the pan down one more time.
Clip the Candy Thermometer to the side of the pan
Raise the temperature under the pan to medium… now (and this is hard for impatient people like me) let the sugar cook WITHOUT STIRRING until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. (please don’t go wandering off….)
When you get to 300 degrees… turn off the heat….don’t touch anything, just stare at the thermometer until it hits 310 degrees Fahrenheit (it happens kind of fast)
Pull the pan off of the hot burner … add 1/2 of the almonds (this is why we divided them into 2 bowls) and all of the vanilla. Stir until combined.
Pour out onto the prepared pan.
You can spread it out a bit if you want… I prefer to let gravity do the work.
Let the toffee cool 2 to 3 minutes
Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the toffee
Wait 30 seconds or so… spread the chocolate over the toffee (it will melt… give it a minute if you need to)
Sprinkle with the rest of the almonds.
Now, let it cool until firm. Could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 45 minutes… depending on how cool your kitchen is. (Turns out… the chocolate NEVER sets in a hot kitchen) You can always put the pan in the refrigerator to speed things up.
When it’s hard… break into chunks or cut into pieces.
Brown Sugar Toffee with Toasted Almonds Step By Step
(due to technical difficulties, the photos are small… sorry)
Make sure your almonds are toasted and chopped
Stir over low heat… it’s starting to look like lava now… and will feel like it if you pour it on yourself.
Clip on a thermometer… wipe down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush on last time. NOW LEAVE IT ALONE.. At 300 degrees, turn off heat At 310 degrees, remove from burner
Pour in the vanilla and half of the almonds
Pour onto a prepared pan.. let gravity spread it out (yes, you can help)
After the toffee has cooled 2 to 3 minutes.. pour/sprinkle on the chocolate chips
Wait …. around 30 seconds to a minute… then spread with a spatula
Now sprinkle on the rest of the nuts
And let it sit until set (yes, if no one is looking you can pick at the edges now…)
When the Toffee is stiff enough to lift….it’s ready to cut
You can just break it into pieces… but if you want it to look sort of neat and orderly… use a knife. You will save your pans, and your knives, if you transfer the candy sheet to a cutting board. I cut on the diagonal… I’m sure there was a reason, but can’t remember why at the moment. (choose your favorite shape with straight lines… squares, diamonds, triangles and rectangles are best…) (don’t try to cut animal shapes… just don’t)
or wrap the toffee in gift bags for gifting.