Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Baking

I haven't had to do too much holiday baking around here yet--just a batch of cookies here and there. But I was looking for something to give to Isaac's teacher's at ECFE and Vance's coworkers & advisor. Ellen mentioned toffee when we were on the phone recently, and it stuck. I pulled out my recipe and got cooking. You may want to too!

Now before you get all intimidated about toffee because it's candy, let me reassure you: I am NOT an experienced candy maker. I've tried a few times, and fail more than half the time at candy. This recipe, however, is not hard. It doesn't even take that long. But since a lot of people don't make it, it looks relatively impressive.

So, if you are going to make this chocolate-covered toffee (compliments of Fine Cooking magazine), you'll need:

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1 t. light corn syrup (I know, I know, but it's only 1 teaspoon. And it's Christmas)
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
12 oz. chocolate, chopped (your choice--I like semi-sweet or half semi-sweet, half bittersweet)
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans

Over medium heat, combine butter, sugar, salt, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer. Stir frequently until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, then back off and only stir once and awhile.

You may want to dip a brush in water every once in awhile and clean up the crystalized sugar bits on the side of the pan. But I'm not sure that's necessary.

Now it's a waiting game. You've got to let the sugar mixture hit 300 degrees. It could take 10-20 minutes, so this is a good time to finish up that book you've been reading, or get the dishes done, or whatever else is on your to-do list. Just don't forget the toffee completely!

When the mixture hits 300, immediately remove from heat, add vanilla, and pour into a metal 9x13 pan. I've used glass before, and it's much harder to get it out of the pan. I love these straight-sided pans...

Tilt the pan until the toffee evenly covers the bottom.

Wait 2 minutes, then sprinkle the chocolate on. I used chocolate chips because I was feeling lazy and cheap, but if you want to go gourmet and put some high-end chocolate on top, go for it. It's your toffee. Wait a few more minutes for the chocolate to melt (try covering the pan with a cookie sheet to keep the heat in), and then spread it around evenly.

Top with chopped pecans, and allow to cool completely (3-4 hours). Mine wasn't cooling in my hot-as-Hades kitchen, so I put it in the fridge for an hour or so. It turned out fine.

When it's cool, break it up! I used a thin, strong knife and poked at the toffee until it cracked, and then broke it up along the fault lines. You will have some crumbles left (but the picture shows the combined crumbs of two batches, so you won't have that much waste).
Now get it out of your house before you eat it all up!

3 comments:

Jessica said...

We make this every year for our family baking day! It is yummy! :)

googler said...

gucci vintage
gucci online
gucci fashion
gucci uk
gucci bags

ellie said...

HELLO! THANKS FOR THE WONDERFUL PICTURES AND THE TOUR OF YOUR LIFE SO FAR. THE KIDS ARE DOLLS! I COULD HUG THEM ALL DAY ...
MISSING YOU ALL!
AUNT ELLEN (CHERYL'S SISTER ELLEN ..)