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English butter toffee

English butter toffee
Los Angeles Times

Nothing does the trick like candy. Serve it after dinner with coffee for an easy dessert or keep some on hand for a quick pick-me-up. And if you need a hostess gift, take some along; I've never seen anyone protest ... Read more

Active work time: 10 minutes | Total preparation time: 35 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling | Serves 20
  • 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces milk chocolate
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast them until they're lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Finely chop the nuts.

Step 2Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, grease the foil with butter and set it aside.

Step 3Clip a candy thermometer to a heavy 2 1/2-quart saucepan. Bring the sugar, butter, water and salt to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Continue boiling, uncovered, not stirring the mixture but shaking the saucepan occasionally to distribute the heat as the mixture turns amber in about 9 minutes, then darker amber as it registers 305 degrees on the thermometer (hard-crack stage), about 3 minutes longer. Stay close by; the thermometer will reach 305 degrees quickly. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the vanilla.

Step 4Carefully pour the hot mixture into the prepared pan. Let it cool to room temperature until hard, about 30 minutes.

Step 5Melt the milk and bittersweet chocolates in a double boiler or at 50% power in the microwave. Mix them together, then spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee using an offset spatula. Immediately sprinkle the toffee with the nuts. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then remove the toffee from the pan and break it into pieces.

Note: This can be kept in an airtight container in a cool place (not the refrigerator) up to one week.


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