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YOU! CAN MAKE! TOFFEE! It may seem scary. And I’m not gonna lie, your first couple times, it can be. Haha. Super hot, thick, boiling liquid sugar can be intimidating. But you’ve got this. Homemade toffee is a great gift or dessert to bring to gatherings. (Calling it Christmas Toffee makes it extra special.) People will be super impressed with you and they won’t be able to stop eating it. Here’s the thing: you MUST have a candy thermometer, or a kitchen thermometer that goes up to at least 300°F. Unless you are like, a seasoned candy-maker and know what to look for. That’s not me, so I need a thermometer. I also recommend a silicone spatula, because their melting points are 450° so you know they won’t melt on you. Something like these would work great.
You can buy a candy thermometer specifically, but if you need one anyway, you might consider going with an all-purpose thermometer. These ones below all have great reviews on Amazon and are under $20.
How to make toffee
Toffee is just butter and sugar heated to the hard crack stage, which is about 300°, then spread out to harden. It is for real that easy. For our recipe, we use 4 sticks of salted butter and 2 cups of sugar. Heat it over medium/medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, and measuring the temp of the mixture with a thermometer.
You have to go slow-ish here. It will take 15–20 minutes from start to 300°. DON’T try to speed it up. One time, I made my toffee on high heat and I was like, “Awesome! This is getting up to temp SO fast!” No, it was not awesome, because if your toffee is heating up real quick, it’s not going to stop when you want it to, and it will burn VERY quickly after surpassing 300°. My toffee was burned and tasted like booty and I had to throw it away and go to the grocery store to get more butter. Throwing away a whole pound of butter is very sad. So, moral of the story! Medium heat, turning it down if the temp is climbing too fast.
Once our toffee gets up to 300°, we pour it onto a parchment-papered baking sheet (with sides) and spread it out with a spatula. Work quickly! It begins to harden right away. Pour chocolate chips over evenly and wait a few minutes for the heat from the toffee to melt the chips. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate over the toffee, then add peanuts. Stick the toffee in the fridge for about an hour, or the freezer for a half hour. Use the parchment paper to lift the toffee out of the baking sheet. Break it up into whatever size you like, and keep it in a container at room temperature.
There are so many things you can do to make this recipe your own! You don’t want to mess with the butter-sugar-salt ratio, but besides that, you have options. Specifically, nut options and chocolate options. You could add a cup or two of nuts INTO the toffee right before you spread it onto the baking sheet. Or use a different kind of nut as the topping. I think honey roasted peanuts adds a little something extra, but smoked almonds could be very interesting?? Pecans, walnuts, pistachios, or even pine nuts would all be delicious. And of course you have options with chocolate too. Since toffee is so sweet, I like using a bittersweet chocolate like 60% cacao. But maybe you like darker, or sweeter chocolate. Maybe you want to experiment with like, peanut butter chips?? Or perhaps you don’t want any chocolate. Nuts only? Or straight up toffee on its own. YUM! You can’t go wrong.
I hope this recipe empowers you to make your own toffee! If you do, please let me know what you think in the comments below!Print
Toffee is not that hard to make! All you need is a candy thermometer. This toffee is covered with dark chocolate and honey roasted peanuts—it’s a great gift or dessert for parties.
Adapted from this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Toffee on Epicurious.
- 4 sticks (1 lb) salted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli’s 60% cacao chips)
- 1–2 cups honey roasted peanuts
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, making sure the paper is larger than the baking sheet so you can use it to lift the toffee out at the end, set aside.
- Add the 4 sticks of butter, 2 cups sugar, and ¼ tsp salt to a medium-large pot on medium heat. Stir, scraping the bottom, until the butter and sugar are melted together.
- Continue to stir occasionally, and once the mixture begins to simmer, start measuring the temperature with your thermometer.
- The goal is 300°. It should take 15–20 minutes to get there—DON’T try to rush it. If the temp is climbing really fast, turn the heat down.
- Once the toffee hits 300°, immediately pour it onto the prepared baking sheet. It’ll start to harden right away so be quick! Spread it out with a spatula until it’s an even layer across the sheet.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly onto the toffee. Let the heat from the toffee melt the chips for a couple minutes, then use a spatula to spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee.
- Sprinkle nuts on top and lightly press down on them to make sure they adhere.
- Put toffee in the fridge for an hour or the freezer for a half hour, or until chocolate hardens.
- Use the parchment paper to lift toffee out of the baking sheet. Break it up with a butter knife or your hands. Store in a closed container at room temp.
- Feel free to play around with the nuts or chocolate! You can use any kind of nuts or chocolate you want. You could also mix a cup or two of nuts INTO the toffee before spreading it onto the baking sheet.
Keywords: dessert, party, toffee, sugar, chocolate, nuts, peanuts