I can’t believe January is already gone. The hubby and I have been fighting colds all month (he gave me his cold). It seems we get something this time of year every year. Oh, well…
Do you want to make something special for your Valentine? Why not make some delicious Valentine’s Toffee. I would eat the entire batch in one sitting but I can’t let myself eat that much butter at one time.
This sweet treat is easier to make than you might think. This is the second time I’ve made toffee and it turned out perfectly. I left out the nuts (the picky hubby isn’t thrilled with certain nuts) and added Valentine’s non-pereils. The first time I made toffee, I turned my attention away too long and it burned a little – we still ate that batch, though.
Yield: 24 servings Cook Time: 35 – 40 minutes
- 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt (skip if using salted butter)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pound (about 2 3/4 cups) milk chocolate, chopped (use a good chocolate chips or candy bar)
- pink, red and white non-pereils
- chopped pecans (optional)
Step 1: For the toffee: Select a sauce pan that can hold at least double the volume of the butter, sugar, water, corn syrup and salt (I used a 3 quart sauce pan and the mixture expanded to about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan). Be sure to use a large enough pan because the candy mixture expands to at least double in size while cooking and will burn anything it touches quickly, if it overflows. Do not let the candy mixture touch your skin or attempt to taste it at all. Combine the first five ingredients and heat on medium while stirring slowly until the sugar is completely dissolved. You can test this with a wooden spoon by a tap of the spoon against the bottom of the pan resulting in no crunching, gritty feel which signals that the sugar has dissolved.
Step 2: Insert candy thermometer in the mixture. Continue heating and slowly stirring the mixture on medium high heat until the mixture begins to boil. Cook until the temperature is 290 degrees and the mixture has turned the color of caramel. My candy’s temperature seemed to stall at around 250 degrees but I turned up the heat a little until the temperature started increasing again. Remove pan from heat and stir in the vanilla. Carefully pour the mixture in to a parchment lined jelly roll pan. Spread the mixture evenly to ensure the candy cools to a uniform thickness.
Step 3: For the garnish: After the toffee has cooled a minute or two spread the chopped chocolate evenly across the top of the hot toffee. Wait until the chocolate melts and spread evenly across the top of the toffee. Sprinkle liberally with non pereils and/or nuts if using. Press topping into the chocolate a little.
Step 4: Cool at room temperature for at least two to three hours. When completely cooled, break into small pieces and share with your Valentine.
Tips: Store uncovered. Great for gift giving. Once the toffee starts getting close to the 290 degrees, the temperature will rise quickly.
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