Tuesday, December 15, 2009

English Toffee

Oh my, has the weather been dreary in Mississippi. It feels more like we're living in London. Not much rain, just a drizzle and fog that dampens everything in its path, including your spirits. Bad hair days are running rampant. And a cold, a wet cold that goes deep into your bones. We've been warding off the chill rather well so far, but the past two days have been downright soupy. So I figured I'd get in the kitchen and come up with something to brighten Mike's day when he gets home.

What to do, what to do.....

Well, what would the English do?
Wow do I have a new favorite recipe.

Remember how I once mentioned to never trust a skinny cook? You'll be able to trust me just fine now that I know how to make English toffee. It might just be really fantastic beginner's luck, but this stuff is easier than divinity. Easier than fudge. Hell, it's easier than brownies.

1 pound butter or oleo
2 Tablespoons water
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups finely chopped walnuts (of course I used pecans)
8 ounces of milk or dark chocolate, depending on taste
About 1 1/2 Tablespoons Gulf candy wax (optional - it gives the chocolate a more shiny, more durable texture)

  1. Combine butter and water in a 4 quart Dutch oven.
  2. Cook over medium heat until butter melts.
  3. Add sugar and salt.
  4. Boil, stirring constantly.
  5. When mixture begins to lighten in color (I waited until 250 degrees), add one cup of nuts.
  6. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until it reaches 298 degrees.
  7. Pour into a buttered 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan and spread to cool.
  8. Slightly mark into 1 inch square pieces with knife and cool completely.
  9. Melt chocolate and wax in a double boiler.
  10. Spread over toffee and sprinkle with nuts, gently pressing nuts into melted chocolate.
  11. Break into squares.
  12. Makes 3 pounds.
Since this post began so drearily, I thought I'd end it with a little sunshine from a photo taken just last week. Could somebody please explain why the paperwhites on the right are growing so much taller than the paperwhites on the left?

London photo courtesy of Time.



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