Raiding the larder of ideas.

What one family eats, plans to eat, dreams of eating. Plus, other food and kitchen-related stuff from the home of steak-and-potatoes, pie and fresh green beans from the garden.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Never Eat a Heath Bar Again

English Toffee

Every Christmas season, the Bat and I feel compelled to make at least one large batch of candies for gifts, because...well, just because. The batch usually involves dark chocolate truffles, fudge, and these toffees. We'd make them at other times of the year, but people would wonder what was wrong, why were we giving out candies, then we'd end up eating them all out of paranoid guilt. And certainly my girth needs no such enhancement. Therefore, this becomes pretty much strictly a holiday treat for us (more is the pity). In fact, 90% of this particular batch in the photos went to a friend's place of business – where one of his customers sampled a piece and said afterward, "I'll never eat a Heath Bar again!"

Hence the title of the blog entry.

The Toffee recipe is originally from the Bat's well-worn copy of The Freezer Cookbook, by Charlotte Erickson, with no real adaptations other than that you can swap out sea salt or fleurs de sal for the pecans...or even in addition to it, if your little heart desires.

Still, if you want to make the stuff any time, all you need is a few basic ingredients, a 2 - quart (or slightly larger) saucepan, a well-BUTTERED jelly roll pan (a cookie sheet with sides), and a reliable candy thermometer. And a stove. Those really do come in handy when you want to cook.

All right, then. I've had my moment of silliness, now it's time for the rich and sweet:

English Toffee (double batch)

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups (1 pound) butter
6 Tablespoons water
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans

In medium or large saucepan, combine butter, sugar, and water. Cook over moderately high heat to the hard - crack stage (300° F. on your candy thermometer).

Bring to boil

Watch closely, stirring occasionally, with greater frequency toward the end of cooking time, to prevent burning.
Caramel stage

When the liquid reaches 300°F.,  immediately remove from heat and pour into generously - buttered jelly roll pan. Immediately sprinkle chocolate morsels over the top of the hot mixture and spread as soon as the chocolate has melted.
In pan with chocolate

 Sprinkle with nuts.

Chocolate, pecans,  and SCOOOORE!

With a buttered blade, you should score the candy into 1-  or 1 1/2 - inch pieces. Let cool completely. Break apart and share. Or don't share, if you're not afraid of a little gluttony.

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