Easy Homemade English Toffee

 Easy Homemade English Toffee with crunchy almonds and creamy chocolate! No candy thermometer needed!

Easy Homemade English Toffee Recipe

This is the time of year when I think about my mother’s mad candy-making skills. She makes the most quality, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth candies of all sorts. I have been trying to get her to open up her own sweets shop, but she just won’t budge. Maybe that’s a good thing, for her family anyway, because we don’t have to share!

She always, always makes candy by the book and that’s probably why she’s so good at it. But, to tell you the truth, I don’t have time to wait for a candy thermometer or for the temperature to be “just right” to temper the chocolate. I have limited time, and a severe sweet tooth. Those two just don’t go so well together all the time.

It is with that in mind that I created this Easy Homemade English Toffee recipe. It’s so good, you won’t know it wasn’t made by a professional in a secret kitchen with one eye on a candy thermometer and the other on the timer. (No, I don’t think candymakers look like hammerhead sharks, but you get my point.)

Easy Homemade English Toffee Recipe

WHAT CAUSES TOFFEE TO SEPARATE?

Your toffee separates because the butter has separated from the sugar rather than mixing together like it should. When the butter slips away from the sugar, it can make your candy look really oily on top. This typically occurs during the cooking process, but can happen when you pour it onto a baking sheet as well.

The reason it does this is because it changes from either too cold or too hot, too fast. One way to monitor that this doesn’t happen is to use a candy thermometer. However, since I just made a big deal out of NOT using one, what I do is continually watch, watch, watch that candy mixture as I’m cooking it. Use a thick-bottomed pan (so that it doesn’t burn) and melt over medium heat, until it’s melted all the way THEN turn it up to medium-high. Remove it as soon as it looks like the color of raw almonds (the outside, not the inside). At no time do you turn it all the way down or all the way up. And stir, stir, stir! Nice and easy does it — and it’ll be so worth it.

However, should you still find that your toffee has separated, you can try to save it. First, try removing it from the heat and then stirring some more and see if it goes back together. If that doesn’t work, try adding hot, hot, very hot water to it by the tablespoonful until it comes back together. Be careful that you don’t add too much water, one spoonful at a time.

If the toffee has already cooled, unfortunately, it’s too late to save it. But you can try to soak up the oil and use the crunchy leftovers as an ice cream topping or in cookies.

Easy Homemade English Toffee

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CARAMEL AND TOFFEE?

This one confused me for a long time. After all, they are made basically the same way. But the main difference is that caramels retain their chewiness, whereas toffees become hard candies. Caramel also has some kind of milk or cream to keep it soft, and is cooked at a lower temperature.  

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU PUT IN TOFFEE?

My family is nuts for nuts, but I know not everyone is a fan. That’s okay! There are other ways you can top this recipe.

  • Skip the nuts or add other nuts that you like to either the top or the bottom of the candy.
  • Sprinkle crushed up candy canes onto the top of the melted chocolate.
  • Add broken pretzels to the top of the melted chocolate for a sweet/salty vibe.
  • Try dried cherries, cranberries, raisins, coconut flakes, or other dried fruit instead of the pecans.
  • Swirl some peanut butter (softened) in with the melted chocolate.
  • Add little candies to the top of the cooling chocolate (it should be soft but not hot) like mini M&Ms, Reese’s cups, white chocolate chips, or other little candies you enjoy.

Easy Homemade English Toffee

I can’t oversell how easy this EASY Homemade English Toffee recipe is. 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! 😉 But if that’s not enough for you, check out these rave reviews…

What people are saying about this Easy Homemade English Toffee

“I followed your advice and cooked the toffee until it was the color of a caramel and it is perfect! Thank you for your reply. I used semi sweet chocolate chips, about 1/2 cut more almonds and double the pecans on top. Our family enjoys the nuts and dark chocolate. You can feel safe with this recipe! I may make some to give as gifts at Christmas. 😀” – Deborah

“I made this tonight and it was DELICIOUS and so quick and easy! I plan on making a few batches tomorrow for Christmas party! Thanks for sharing.” – Dallas

“Wow! This recipe is amazing! I just made a batch for my friend, who’s only request during my big annual Christmas cookie bake off, was English Toffee like his grandmother used to make! I was feeling the pressure of measuring up to the expectations he had set forth! Lol! I went shopping late and the store was out of whole almonds so I used a bag of slivered almonds. Turned out just awesome! Great and easy recipe! Thank you for sharing!” – Tina

“This is absolutely FANTASTIC! I personally use a spatula to stir as it would take more of the bottom and the side of the pot and I used dark semi sweet chocolate chip. As to roast the almonds, I did it in a cast iron pan as I hate using a microwave. I ended up cooking it at medium all along as as soon as I turned up the heat, it was kind of a burning small that I didn’t like and was afraid to burn it. This is to die for and I will make it again. Merci!!” – Chantal

Easy Homemade English Toffee
4.41 from 5 votes
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Easy Homemade English Toffee

Easy homemade English toffee with crunchy almonds and creamy chocolate!

Course Dessert
Keyword almond, chocolate, toffee
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8
Author Tiffany

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1 cup butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans (such as Diamond of California)

Instructions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. After toffee and chocolate and completely cooled, use a butter knife to break apart the toffee. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from The Yummy Life

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Comments

wheres the rest of the recipe?? How do I know when it’s done if I’m not using a candy thermometer?

    Hi Jerrika! Sorry about that, there was a glitch in my recipe card and for some reason several of my recipes were being cut off – it’s fixed now though! 🙂

I’m a chocolate person too. . love love love this homemade English toffee!! This is perfection!! And no candy thermometer required?! love it even more.

    Ahhhh, we can be chocolate buddies. 😉

Wow what a delicious recipe!

Could we have some of your mother’s recipes. That sounds wonderful Thanks

Tried to pin this recipe to Pinterest, but your site is blocked cause they say it could lead to spam. I’ve always pinned your recipes without any problems. This has been happening quite a bit lately. Troublesome!

    Thanks Susan! I’m trying to get it worked out right now!!

This definetly is amazing! Best toffee EVER

I ate the whole batch for breakfast the next day. Oops 🙂

Although decided next time I’d put a bit less almonds….

Oh yeah. .. only a chocolate like this can cure a chocolate fix! Making it tomorrow!
Ty for sharing!

How many grams is the one cup of butter? I want to make these English toffees!!!

    ~225 grams of butter to = 1 cup

hi Tiffany, I saw this recipe on Budget Bytes, which recommended it as a lovely Christmas gift – it looks beautiful! Was just wondering whether you had tried using dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, and whether it would also work to just melt the chocolate and pour it over the toffee?

Is this toffee crunchy or its it a soft toffee? Strange question I know but I used a different recipe similar to this one and it wasnt crunchy unless I kept it in the fridge.

    This is a hard/crunchy toffee. 🙂

This makes great toffee! For the color of the toffee it should be the color of a caramel, not the outside of the almond! If it gets that dark it burns and becomes bitter. If you want another treat that some people like better, use white chocolate instead of milk chocolate!

    I followed your advice and cooked the toffee until it was the color of a caramel and it is perfect! Thank you for your reply. I used semi sweet chocolate chips, about 1/2 cut more almonds and double the pecans on top. Our family enjoys the nuts and dark chocolate. You can feel safe with this recipe! I may make some to give as gifts at christmas. I could not type without all caps for some reason. 😀

      So happy to hear that you had such great success with this recipe, Deborah! Thanks for your continued feedback! These are perfect Christmas treats.. speaking from experience! 😉

Wow! This recipe is amazing! I just made a batch for my friend, who’s only request during my big annual Christmas cookie bake off, was English Toffee like his grandmother used to make! I was feeling the pressure of measuring up to the expectations he had set forth! Lol! I went shopping late and the store was out of whole almonds so I used a bag of slivered almonds. Turned out just awesome! Great and easy recipe! Thank you for sharing!

What size pan for the toffee?

This is absolutely FANTASTIC! I personally use a spatula to stir as it would take more of the bottom and the side of the pot and I used dark semi sweet chocolate chip. As to roast the almonds, I did it in a cast iron pan as I hate using a microwave. I ended up cooking it at medium all along as as soon as I turned up the heat, it was kind of a burning small that I didn’t like and was afraid to burn it. This is to die for and I will make it again. Merci!!

This looks scrumtious! Can anyone tell me what is the approximate weight of 2 cups of chocolate chips? Chocolate chips arenot that common in Europe and when available they often contain palm oil which I try to avoid as much as possible. I will use chopped 70% chocolate and not quite sure how much to use. Thank you!

The toffee recipe looks fabulous !! Any idea if it would wirk with splenda? Were a diabetic house.

    Hi Kim! Oh, that is such a good question – to be honest I haven’t worked with splenda before so I’m not sure how it cooks down and caramelizes compared to sugar… so sorry I can’t be of more help! If you do give this a try with splenda I’d love to hear about the results!

My butter separated from the toffee. What did I do wrong?

    Hi Heather, at what point did your butter separate?

      My butter separated too😯

        My better also separated but I think it’s because I was whisking instead of stirring.

tried this recipe today and was so disappointed. it was bitter and left a horrible taste in the mouth. threw it away. The only difference was that we used real chocolate chips and not milk chocolate…is that the reason??

    Hi Donna, I’m sorry to hear that! What do you mean by “real” chocolate chips? Are they semi sweet or dark chocolate? Unsweetened? Milk chocolate chips are extremely sweet and that compliments the toffee really well. I would only suggest using milk chocolate chips for this toffee!

I made this tonight and it was DELICIOUS and so quick and easy! I plan on making a few batches tomorrow for Christmas party! Thanks for sharing.

The chocolate has remained melted and isnt hardening. I used a combo of milk chocolate and mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels. Any suggestions?

    Pop it in the fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes and that will speed up the cooling!

Love this recipe!! Im not a chocolate lover so the second time i made it i used 1 cup of chocolate chips instead of 2. Perfect! Thanks!

I don’t know what went wrong but just as the mixture started to change color the sugar separated from the butter and turned into a hot mess. ;(

    Try using a different pan. The pan makes all the difference. I have some expensive pans that do not work for this, but the one that has worked the best is an old, half worn out pan from 20 years ago. Go figure.

Not impressed. Sugar and butter mixture separated at 8 min Mark it didn’t burn or STICK just got crunchy and not spreadable. So frustrating.

    This is what happened to me too. Although I still made the whole recipe and it did have a nice flavor, the DISCOLORATION on the toffee from the butter separating did not look good. I got this recipe from a friend who makes it regularly and it is to die for so I am going to try again with a different brand of butter but WELCOME other hints/tips

Has anyone tried it with dark chocolate? I’m not a fan of milk chocolate.

Thank you. GreAt directions and yummy rEcipe

Food LOOKS Delicious

This stuff is wonderful and so easy! I was always afraid to try make toffee because of using a candy thermometer . I cooked this 9 minutes and it was perfect! Thank you for the recipe and the 10 pounds i will gain eating it. lol

Hi Tiffany so i’ve trIed making It and it never turned an almond color for me. I did 15 minutes and even after cooling in the fridge it was soft once left out for a few mintues. Can you tell me what went wrong?

    Hi Angie- I wonder if you didn’t have it at a high enough temp? I have a video of the recipe- I suggest that you watch that to help make sure that you are stirring the toffee over medium-high heat, it’s very hot and should be bubbling. Are you using a gas burner or electric? If you are using electric, it tends to shut off for periods of time and cool down before turning back on. You may need to turn up the heat every time it shuts off to keep the heat on-going. I hope that some of this helps for you!

I followed your advice and cooked the toffee until it was the color of a caramel and it is perfect! Thank you for your reply. I used semi sweet chocolate chips, about 1/2 cut more almonds and double the pecans on top. Our family enjoys the nuts and dark chocolate. You can feel safe with this recipe! I may make some to give as gifts at christmas. I could not type without all caps for some reason. 😀

I can’t wait any longer to try this recipe. Chocolate my favorite, Toffee as my close second!! Going out now to get ingredients!!

    I hope that you love this recipe! It’s too easy and so good!

Is there a recipe for Cashew toffee or Cashew brittle??

Is there a reason for the pecans on top instead of chopped almonds? Would using more almonds affect the taste?

    I haven’t made this with almonds before- I’d love to hear how it turns out if you do!

Mine separated also😢

Should you use salted or unsalted butter?

    I typically use salted butter

I could not get my toffee to turn the carmel color; i tried the recie twice and cooked and stirred for 15 mins, beige color at the least 🤔

A very simple amazing recipe!

    Thank you, Gary! Excited to hear that you love this recipe!

We are not that crazy about Almonds. Could we use Pecan halves instead of Almonds?

    Absolutely!!

So good!! And amazIngly easy. I used unsalted butter, semi-sweet chocolate chIPs, and about 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans. I used a heavy nonstick 3 quArt saucepan and a wooden spoon on a glasstop electric stove, and the cooked mixture was a lovely caramel color in about 7 minutes! Poured well, hardened nicely at room temp for at least 5 hours. Chocolate was hard by then. A fair amount of crumbs when i brOke it up, but they will be yummy in cookie dough or on ice cream. Thank you, tiffany!

    Thanks for your feedback, Gwen! Happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe! Great thinking with how to use the crumbs 😉

      I took the candy to a party this afternoon, and at least ten people asked me for the recipe! Huge hit!

        Super excited to hear that it was a hit!

To Keep t butter from Separating, add 3 tablespoons of water. Ive made thi many times Using this meth and it never fails.

    Thank you for your input, Denise!

Does the foil need to be oiled or will it release the toffee easily?

    It should be just fine without having to oil the foil!