I am now officially a candy maker! That’s right, after three tries at making English Toffee, I am no longer intimidated! The secret to my success? Having the right tools. It really was easy after I bought a candy thermometer for batch number two! With layers of walnuts, crunchy caramel, chocolate, and then more walnuts, this candy makes a delicious homemade gift.
Seriously, the process for making this toffee is really pretty simple. First, chop walnuts and sprinkle a layer on a buttered cookie sheet (be sure to use one with a lip). I used a 10 oz. bag of Diamond finely chopped walnuts to save myself a step!
Next, melt butter over low heat, then stir in the brown sugar until combined, and continue cooking until the “soft crack” stage. Now here, you see, is where you want to make sure you have the right cooking tools. It’s really so silly that I never thought it would make much of a difference, but trust me if you want to make brittles, toffee, or any other candy, save yourself some grief and start off right by using a candy thermometer!
My first batch ended up being a soft mess, which was really disappointing! Of course, the candy still tasted good, but it literally crumbled in your hands! I didn’t toss it out, though. That stuff is still tasty–we’re using it as a topping for our breakfast oatmeal! Once the toffee is ready, pour over the nuts and carefully spread using an off-set icing spatula. The final step is placing Hershey chocolate bars on top, allowing them to melt for a few seconds, then spreading evenly over top of the caramel layer and sprinkling with more walnuts. Let it set up, then break into pieces. That’s it! Easy-peasy! Merry Christmas, ya’ll!
- 10 oz. pkg. finely chopped Diamond walnuts
- 2 sticks unsalted butter 1/2 pound
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1-1/2 full size Hershey chocolate bars for an extra thick chocolate layer, may use 3 Hershey bars
Lightly butter 10x12 cookie sheet (with lip). Spread half the walnuts evenly on top.
In a medium saucepan melt butter over low heat. Stir in brown sugar until dissolved. Bring to a boil and continue to cook over low heat for 15 minutes, or until candy thermometer reads 280-300 degrees.
Evenly pour mixture on top of walnuts and quickly spread into a thin layer. Lay chocolate bars on top and allow to sit for about 30 seconds until slightly melted. Carefully spread into a thin layer over top of caramel. Sprinkle remaining walnuts all over the top and gently press in with a fork.
Allow toffee to set until hardened (tip: when cool, refrigerate overnight). Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.