Monday, February 14, 2011

A sweet for a sweetie!

I don't have a mix for you today, but this is something you can mix up in a jiffy! We made a Valentine treat for Daddy. It's one of his favorites, and a lot easier to make than you might think.

Chocolate-Almond English Toffee
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All you need is butter, sugar, light (clear) corn syrup and a bit of water. Then, if you want to get fancy, you can add almonds and chocolate, but they are optional.

First you melt the butter in a heavy saucepan, then add the sugar, water and corn syrup. Once the sugar is dissolved, you stop stirring and simply watch the temperature. (While you're waiting, grease a cookie sheet or silicone mat with a bit of butter.)

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The syrup will begin to darken as the temperature rises. Time to pay close attention!

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At 290 degrees, add slivered almonds if you're using them. We did, because they are Hubby's favorite, and because we had them on hand.

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Once the temperature reaches 300, it's time to pour the toffee onto your buttered cookie sheet or silicone mat. I poured it into a general heart shape, and then used the spatula to refine the shape while the candy was still hot and pliable.

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Oh, yummy. And easy!

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Next, to really gild the lily, we sprinkled the toffee with milk chocolate chips. Do this while the toffee is still warm, and wait just a moment...the heat of the toffee melts the chocolate, and then you can spread it with a spatula.

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I know from previous experience that the buttery-ness of the toffee sometimes changes the look of the chocolate after it cools. To 'fix' that, we just sprinkle it with toasted almonds before the chocolate sets.

Voila!

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This is a big, big heart. Enough for a lot of people. I'm reducing the recipe, to make it a bit closer to 'SweetHeart size'. Here is the recipe:

English Toffee

1 stick butter (not margarine)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 T. plus 1t. water
1 T. light (clear) corn syrup

1. Butter a jelly roll pan, cookie sheet or silicone mat (on a metal sheet). Place it on a cooling rack (to get it up off the countertop) and set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Do not allow butter to brown. Add the sugar, water and corn syrup to the melted butter. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil without stirring.

3. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan. Continue to cook, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 300 degrees (hard crack). If you are adding slivered almonds, add 1/2 cup (untoasted) when the syrup reaches 290 degrees. Continue to cook, stirring often, until it reaches 300 degrees.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the hot syrup into the prepared pan or onto the prepared silicone mat. They syrup will spread some, and can be shaped with a silicone spatula while still hot and pliable. It is too hot to touch - use the spatula!

5. If adding chocolate, sprinkle about 3 tablespoons chocolate chips on top of the candy. As the chips melt, use a spatula to spread them over the surface. Allow the candy to cool completely in the pan (allow chocolate to harden completely if using). Slip the end of a flexible spatula under the edge of the candy and lift the candy up in one piece. To eat, use your hands to break it into bite-sized, irregular pieces. Store the candy in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Linked at Sweet as Sugar Cookies in the Sweets for Saturday.

7 comments:

GrammyGoo said...

Wow. Looks Great ! Happy Valentine's Day !

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Delicious looking toffee! Love the heart shape, so creative :)

Ten Things Farm said...

Thank you both! I hope you had a lovely day too!

sweet european dreams said...

mmmmmmmmmm...Love toffee! I'm not much of a candy maker, but I think I may be able to attempt this one. Thanks for sharing! -diane

Ten Things Farm said...

Oh, Diane - I hope you do! The very first time I tried it, it turned out great. You don't even stir, once it begins to bubble - it's just an easy one to do. Yummy too!

Lisa said...

That toffee looks fantastic and I love the heart shape. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog called Sweets for a Saturday and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your toffee up. http:/sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/02/sweets-for-saturday-5.html

Meaghan Luby said...

the heart shape makes this. glad to have found your blog!
-meg
@ http://www.clutzycooking.blogspot.com
@ http://www.myscribblednotebook.blogspot.com

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