Whenever I make a caramelized component for cooking or for candy, I try not to stir it. So I put all the ingredients except the nuts into a heavy sauce pan and set it on medium heat and just let it roll. I use half margarine and half butter. If you follow all the other measurements and use a candy thermometer it nearly always succeeds. Nevertheless, every once in a while toffee does not set up as it should and I guess there’s nothing you can do about it. All candy makers I’ve talked to agree that toffee is tricky! Here’s how I do it:
- 2 sticks butter (I use one stick salted butter and one stick margarine)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon clear corn syrup
Place ingredients in a heavy sauce pan and begin cooking over medium heat — do not stir
- 2/3 cup chopped nuts—I use almonds, walnuts or pecans, save some for the top — some recipes require you to toast the nuts, sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla — pour the vanilla over the nuts
- One-third to ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
You need a candy thermometer, they’re cheap so just get one, and you cook the mixture over medium heat to a rolling boil — then keep cooking until the mixture has a marbled, foamy surface and when it starts changing color and smells more and more toasty insert the thermometer. It needs to reach 300 degrees and then I let it cook at least one full minute. I look for a deepening caramel color. Now work quickly to stir in the nuts and vanilla using a wooden spoon. Pour the candy onto a baking sheet and top with more nuts and allow the candy to spread to a unified thickness. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and allow them to completely melt, and then spread the chocolate thinly over the candy. Let the toffee completely cool and harden — at least several hours — and then cut it up into the size you want.