Christmas is not complete without homemade candy. My mother-in-law is a pro at vanilla fudge, caramels, and pecan logs. I can make all of those with her hand-holding (and in her kitchen), but the only candy I am brave enough to make on my own is toffee. It is really simple to make, and makes a great gift for anyone.
Seriously…who doesn’t love toffee?
TIP: Do not remove your wooden spoon from the pan or it can crystallize your whole batch of candy when you put it back in.
Now continue stirring and watch that thermometer like a hawk! I actually kneel down so I can see it at eye-level, but I’m really tall so some of you might not be able to kneel…just bend over and watch it. The temperature for toffee can range from 270 to 300, depending on your altitude. Here in the mile-high city I have found 275 to be perfect for this recipe. You might just have to experiment with this, so buy lots of butter and be prepared to try a test batch. If it’s a little chewy instead of crunchy after it cools then you didn’t cook it long enough, and if it has a burned flavor then you cooked it too long.
Very quickly pour mixture onto a cookie sheet. I use my Silpat. Don’t worry about what shape the toffee ends up in. Wait about 5 minutes, and then sprinkle chocolate chips on top, and then wait for 5-10 minutes for them to melt completely, and then spread evenly with a rubber spatula.
Wrap up a few pieces in a really cute way (see this post from Annie for some great ideas), and you have an impressive homemade gift for neighbors, teachers, or friends.
Make some for yourself too…you deserve it after all you do to get ready for Christmas!
(Do you think this philosophy is the reason I gain about 5 lbs during the month of December?)