Easy homemade English toffee with crunchy almonds and creamy chocolate!
There are vanilla people and there are chocolate people. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate vanilla, particularly when paired with warm and gooey desserts. But when it really comes down to it, I’m a chocolate person. I have my random fruity candy cravings when nothing will satisfy quite like an orange-cream salt water taffy or a handful of pear jelly bellies, but for the most part, it’s chocolate I need. Chocolate, caramel, toffee, and similar assorted sweet things.
My mother makes the most amazing homemade candies. Her caramel just melts the instant your put it in your mouth – it’s so sweet I can only have a piece or two at a time, and that’s saying something cause I like it rich rich rich. She makes her caramels every year around this time, along with her famous homemade English toffee. It’s incredible. We keep trying to convince her to open a sweets shop but she has yet to take the leap. One of these days I’ll just buy a shop, paste her name on the front, and force her to become the full-on candy-maker-business-woman I know she is.
Til then, I’ll settle for giant batches of her homemade toffee all to myself.
My mother uses a candy thermometer for her toffee and only makes it when the weather is “ideal” (whatever that means!) because she’s amazing like that. I’m slightly less committed to the art of old-fashioned candy creation and want something a little simpler since I don’t have 40 years of toffee-making under my belt.
Enter: my easy homemade English toffee. No candy thermometer required.
Honestly the hardest part about this recipe is just the waiting for it to cool at the end. And trust me, you do not want a burned tongue as a consequence of impatience. Not that I would know…. Just joshin’ I totally know from personal experience so take my word for it! 😉
- 1 cup whole raw almonds
- 1 cup butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips
- ¼ cup finely chopped pecans (such as Diamond of California)
- Get all of your ingredients measured and set out before you start the recipe. Then place your almonds on a plate and microwave them for 2-3 minutes on high to toast them. Line a baking sheet (preferable a 9x13 pan) with foil and place the almonds in a single layer on the foil - space them out as best you can.
- Add sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt to a large sauce pan (at least 2-quarts and it needs to have a thick bottom - not a thin metal one or your toffee will burn!) and melt over medium heat, stirring throughout.
- When ingredients are completely melted, continuously stir and gradually increase heat to medium-high. Keep stirring, stirring, stirring for 9-15 minutes until the toffee is a golden brown color (similar to the color of the raw almonds). As soon as it reaches that color, quickly pour over almonds in your prepared pan.
- Allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then sprinkle with chocolate chips. Allow to sit for another couple of minutes so the chocolate chips will melt, then spread over the toffee. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and allow to cool completely. (If you put the pan in the fridge it will speed up the process a bit).
- After toffee and chocolate and completely cooled, use a butter knife to break apart the toffee. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.