This is as Martha Stewart as I get. Mai’s English Toffee.

This is my one time of the year to Martha Stewart it up and I always love making toffee to give out as Christmas gifts.  This is my second year doing it and it seems to be popular enough that I thought I would share the process.  Some of you who are kitchen connoisseurs and commandos may not need my insights and tips at all.  But, as I learned from trial and error, I thought I would share. 

The recipe was originally found here

It’s a very simple recipe, with just four ingredients, Butter (salted), sugar, Chocolate and pecans.  You can add a tablespoon or two of vanilla as I did.  That’s all there is to it!  But, it does require some pretty contsant vigilance to get it right.  Also, besides the ingredients, you need a couple of tools to make this process easier.  For one thing, you need a candy thermometer since the temperature has to get to the “hard crack” stage of between 300 and 305 degrees Fahrenheit.  For another, the

Oxo scraper

 made all the difference in the world, as far as getting the pieces to break into regular squares and making the result quite pretty!

So, below, here is the original recipe with my pictures and my hints in parenthesis.

Best Ever English Toffee Recipe

  • 2 Giant 8 oz. Hershey bars, or 16 oz. (450 g) milk chocolate divided in half  (Trader Joe’s offers delicious 17 oz. bars of Belgian chocolate called Pound  Plus that are excellent for this recipe and that is what I used.  Cost wise, it ends up about the same)
  • 2 cups (300 g) finely chopped walnuts or pecans (I am a Georgia girl.  I used Pecans)
  • 3 cups (600 g) granulated sugar
  • 1+1/2 lb. (681 g) SALTED real butter Do not use unsalted butter or  margarine, or the recipe won’t turn out.

Recipe Directions:

  1. Break 8 ounces of the chocolate and set aside.
  2. Boil sugar and butter while stirring constantly (they mean CONSTANTLY.  This is the hard part.  This stuff will burn in a nanosecond.  Be vigilant) on medium heat to hard crack  level (300-305*F or 149*C) on candy thermometer. IT MUST REACH THIS LEVEL, NO  MATTER HOW IT LOOKS.
  3. Tip: Start off at medium high and then lower the temp as it gets closer to  300*F (149*C). Watch it like a hawk.
  4. Pour mixture onto large ungreased cookie sheet with sides (jelly roll size)  and immediately spread on the grated chocolate. Smooth over top.

I did the above step totally differently.  First, I lined the Cookie sheet with parchment paper.  This makes turning it over later on MUCH, MUCH easier.  Also, instead of immediately spreading the grated or pieced chocolate onto the hot toffee and letting it melt, I waited until the toffee had cooled enough to still be gooey, but thicker.  Then, I used the Oxo scraper to make score marks in the toffee.  Doin this makes the toffee eaier to break along regular lines later on.  See the pictures below for my way….

5. I melted the 8 oz. chocolate in my makeshift double boiler and poured it on the chocolate. See below.

6. Sprinkle half of the nuts on top. Cool till hard.   (When it is fully hardened and cooled, you need to spread some tin foil on the counter and tip the whole pan upside down.  This is where the parchment paper comes in handy.  It helps the whole pan of toffee come out with no trouble at all!  And it leaves the pan in one big piece which makes step 8 easier)  See below for before and after the chocolate pouring.

7. Melt the other 8 oz. (225 g) or other bar of chocolate in double boiler or  in small saucepan on very low heat, stirring constantly.

8. Tip the cooled toffee out onto wax paper (see my notes on step #6) and spread other side with the  melted chocolate ; sprinkle rest of nuts on and cool till hard.

9. Then crack into small pieces with knife. (This is where the scoring with the Oxo scraper pays off.  See below.  My pieces came out in almost perfect squares.  It wastes a lot less of the toffee because you get a lot fewer crumbs.  Of course, the crumbs aren’t really a waste.  You can top your ice cream with them or make your own Heath crunch Blizzards!)

I packed it all up into Christmas tins and they are ready to go!

Read more at Suite101: Best Ever English Toffee Recipe: How to Make English Toffee Candy |


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Heena
    Nov 09, 2012 @ 01:30:58

    Looks so yummy Mai! Before I make it, I will have to come sample at ur house!!! LOL!!! “)


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