English Toffee Traditions

Every year for as long as I remember my dad made English Toffee for Christmas. In fact, a lot of my family has a special thing that they make/made for holidays that I attach to them personally. Having my own family has made me think a lot about traditions and starting new ones. This year was the second year I made the toffee and the first year it turned out well.

We started a tradition 4 years ago, The Mack Cookie Party. This year was our 4th and it keeps getting better. I also will make Rachel Ray’s “Christmas Pasta” again and we will have a couple friends over to eat for Christmas Dinner.

This year is extra special with the birth of our second child, Evelyn Louise. Thomas (17 months) is becoming a little boy more and more every day. It will be exciting to watch him open up gifts from Santa Christmas morning.

Now for what you’ve been waiting for… The Recipe.

The end result... Delicious!

The end result… Delicious!

English Toffee *

1 cup butter (extra for greasing pan)

1 cup sugar (I used granulated organic sugar)

1 six ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts                                                             (I found them already done at Trader Joes)

What you will need:

Heavy saucepan

wooden spoon

9×9 metal pan (cake pan) although, I used a glass 9×13 and made a double batch

Candy Thermometer ( digital one would work)

wax paper

festive tin

The important part

Butter your pan well and set aside. Combine butter and sugar in pan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly. ** Be careful with the heat… You may need to adjust as you watch the time and temperature rise on the thermometer. Once the thermometer reaches 305-310 take it off the heat and test it by dropping a little into a glass of water; you want it to form into a hard ball and be brittle when removed from the water.Pour quickly into the greased pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Cool until hardened. Melt half the chocolate in the top part of a double boiler (I used a small metal bowl over a pan of boiling water). Spread the chocolate over the candy and sprinkle with nuts. Cool until chocolate has hardened. Turn candy out of the pan onto waxed paper with chocolate layer on the bottom. Melt remaining chocolate and repeat above process. Cool until this layer has hardened (this can take awhile, be patient it’s worth it). Break toffee into pieces and store in a tightly covered tin for at least 2 days to develop the flavor. ***           Makes 1 pound.

Pour into the buttered pan and smooth out with spatula or spoon.

Pour into the buttered pan and smooth out with spatula or spoon.

Pour over melted chocolate and sprinke with nuts. I pressed them down into chocolate slightly too.

Pour over melted chocolate and sprinkle with nuts. I pressed them down into chocolate slightly too.

After the chocolate gets hard, turn out on the waxed paper. This is where I came into trouble using the glass pan, a metal pan has some give.

After the chocolate gets hard, turn out on the waxed paper. This is where I came into trouble using the glass pan, a metal pan has some give.

* Recipe taken from The Redbook Cookbook

Dad pointers

** This section should take about 40-45 min and the outcome is a nice caramel colored sugar mixture. The better the color the better the flavor.

*** This is true, but let’s be honest… It’s still darn good right away