I originally tested this toffee recipe when I was writing my cookbook since I love adding crumbled toffee bits into my homemade Mackinac Island fudge. The toffee recipe never made it into the book, but I've been making it frequently this season and figured it was the perfect time to finally share it on the blog. Let's make some butter toffee, shall we?
You can absolutely make just the toffee and break it into bits to use in fudge, cookies, bars, etc. It's a better version of the hard-to-find bags of Heath Bits-O-Brickle. For the holidays, I like to layer it with toasted pecans and a combination of semisweet and white chocolate chips. It's also fun to arrange pretzels and melted chocolate on top for a chocolate-covered pretzel toffee. The add-ons and toppings are very easy to change up.
You might wonder why the toffee recipe includes baking soda. It is added at the end of the boiling stage and creates lots and lots of bubbles. These bubbles help to lighten the texture of the finished toffee, resulting in an easier-to-bite candy. This step is optional, but in my experience I greatly prefer the toffee with the baking soda step included.
Another small ingredient that you may be tempted to skip is the light corn syrup. Please don't skip it. For lack of a too-scientific explanation, the light corn syrup helps smooth the sharp edges of the sugar crystals during the sugar crystallization process, resulting in a much smoother toffee. Without it, the toffee has a more matte appearance and a drier, more crumbly texture.
As far as the layering of the toppings, you can either arrange the toppings in the bottom of the pan before pouring the toffee mixture, or you can add the toppings last. I actually prefer layering the toppings in first. I find that the layers bind together a bit better and it breaks more clean by doing it this way. Either way works fine though.Print
Butter toffee only takes a few simple ingredients and a short time to make, but keeps well and is absolutely worth the effort. Change up the toppings and you've got a great variety of treats to share!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 9x13 1x
2 sticks (227g) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chopped toasted pecans, optional
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1 cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
Prepare the pan by lining a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper. Arrange toasted pecans in the bottom of the pan. Top with chocolate chips or chopped chocolate chunks.
Spray a large saucepans with nonstick spray (this helps prevent boiling over). Melt butter over medium heat, then stir in sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil without stirring. Continue heating until an instant-read or candy thermometer registers 295°F, about 10-12 minutes. The target temperature is 300°F or the “hard crack” stage. The temperature will continue to rise a bit from the residual heat of the pan, so for best results remove the pan at 295°. (You’ll notice the color beginning to take on a hint of an amber appearance just before it reaches temperature.)
Immediately remove from heat and stir in the baking soda, using caution as mixture will bubble up significantly. Pour toffee mixture on top of the chocolate in the prepared pan. Smooth gently as needed to form an even layer. Let cool completely at room temperature before lifting from pan and breaking into pieces.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze.
Keywords: english toffee, butter toffee