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English Toffee

December 23, 2009

~ Emma ~ Sean ~


Today my dad and I made english toffee this was my first time making it but my dad has made it for a long time. It is easy and tasty!!! My dad said that it was his favorite growing up because it was soooo good. He first made it when he saw the recipe in Grandma Patty’s cookbook. 

But one day the handle for the saucepan started to come off and if there was no saucepan there would be no toffee. So Dad found this stick that was just as thick as the old one on the saucepan so he took the bark off, sanded it, drilled a hole in the pot and put the stick in so he could make toffee. Grandma Patty used it for 20 years then she gave it to the Goodwill. 


After you get it to the hard crack stage 290º

– 310º pour onto a greased (preferably butter BABY!) sheet pan WITH edges – this is some slippery stuff!

Let it cool only slightly then sprinkle on the chocolate chips – Ghiradelli makes a nice 60% cocoa chip that would be ideal!  Let the chips melt then spread around to ‘frost’ – optional to sprinkle with toasted pecans or almonds.

Enjoy your buttery, sugary treat – I know we did!

30 Comments leave one →
  1. December 23, 2009 3:19 pm

    This is my FAVORITE, FAVORITE, FAVORITE Holiday treat of ALL TIME!!! Great photos, you guys! Nice work, Emma Lou!

  2. December 23, 2009 3:20 pm

    Mary, is that your new cake stand in the first photo?! Nice.

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      December 23, 2009 5:16 pm

      oh yes, that John sure knows how to pick the gifts!

  3. pat permalink
    December 23, 2009 5:03 pm

    Ooooooooo, this was everybody’s favorite.
    Sometimes, while the chocolate was still hot we’d sprinkle on lots of chopped pecans.
    It is so rich and so celicious!!!

    I’m just sick I don’t have that pan Sean fixed for me. It had a handle sticking out of it more or less in the curve of a long-horn bull’s horn. And about that long too. It was very sturdy. I used it for years. Only when I was quite sure I’d never make candy again did I give it away.

    Who knew a pace-maker would so improve my quality of life that I can make all the old favorites again!

    Great post Sean and Emma! The photos make me hungry for toffee! Maybe I’ll have to try it with another pan.

  4. December 23, 2009 10:56 pm

    Wonderful! I love English Toffee. Thanks for the recipe. Merry Christmas!

  5. December 24, 2009 3:42 am

    looks delish! i like how easy it sounds. iM gona t
    try it!

  6. Lisa permalink
    December 24, 2009 5:37 am

    What an excellent post! Not only a yummy recipe, but also a series of family traditions, a great story, great photos, and grandma’s heirloom recipe book. Just fantastic! Merry Christmas!

  7. Dorothy Sherard permalink
    December 24, 2009 10:26 am

    Why didn’t they say how to finish off the Toffee after cooking to hard boil stage? How thick it should be, etc.? Thanks. It looks good but I think need the “rest of the recipe.”

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      December 24, 2009 11:33 am

      Sorry Dorothy – this was a last minute post and quite trying because of camera issues. All of us kids have this recipe and pretty much know what to do.
      So I guess it sucks to be you – ha! ha!
      Seriously I’m only kidding – I’ll get in there and fix it pronto!
      Merry Christmas!
      ~ Mary

  8. December 24, 2009 1:03 pm

    I’ve been looking for a recipe for toffee. This looks like just the thing. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

    …and a Merry Christmas!

  9. December 24, 2009 4:48 pm

    Wonderful! Love it!

  10. December 25, 2009 2:19 am

    This comes in the right time. Merry X’mas!

  11. December 25, 2009 4:40 am

    Wow! didn’t know you need such simple ingredients to make toffee. Looks yummy!

  12. December 25, 2009 5:13 am

    Mmmm… Great!!! My kids love dessert…
    and merry christmas…

  13. December 25, 2009 11:27 am

    What an awesome treat to make with your dad! The pictures are beautiful. Happy Holidays!

  14. December 25, 2009 4:53 pm

    Yum….. toffee is always a nice xmas favourite.

  15. tastyeatsathome permalink
    December 27, 2009 7:02 pm

    I made toffee for Christmas, and now I’m thinking I need more! Yours looks delicious.

  16. Marci/911Chick permalink
    December 28, 2009 2:34 am

    I made this last night…it was soooooooo easy, and turned out so yummy!!! Never knew something so good could be so easy and fast!!!! Ingredients were already in the house!!! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!!!!!

  17. December 30, 2009 7:43 am

    it looks delicious!! 🙂
    Wishing u a very happy new year!!

  18. cheryl stafford permalink
    December 30, 2009 1:07 pm

    i like the look of your toffee plus how your dad fixed the pot good job .will try it and let you know happy new year.

  19. December 30, 2009 9:21 pm

    one of my favorites when somebody else makes it. I never knew it was this easy…I may try to make it!

  20. January 1, 2010 4:10 pm

    I love toffee and caramel. This recipe is a must try for me. Thanks!

  21. Jason permalink
    January 7, 2010 7:19 pm

    Eek! I just made it and i think its burnt! It didnt even get to 290!

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      January 7, 2010 8:03 pm

      Hey Jason ~
      The only thing I can think of is that your thermometer isn’t working, or it wasn’t sufficiently submerged.
      I just recently had to get a new one because it would reach hard crack stage when truly it was at the soft crack stage.
      Cool it off and give it a try. The worst that can happen is that you have to spit it out and try again.
      Let me know how it goes either way!
      ~ Mary

    • foododelmundo permalink*
      January 19, 2010 7:22 pm

      Jason ~ I’m sad I never heard back from you. I’ve thought about this more and think another issue may have been the sauce pan used? Patty always said that candy needs to be made in a heavy saucepan – I never asked why (because, as a child, you never question your mother) but think possibly it’s so that it doesn’t burn.

  22. May 13, 2010 7:58 am

    I have always been afraid of recipes that use candy themometres because I don’t have one and have never attempted to use one. But finally after staring at this delicious bark in my bookmarks for over six months, I had to try it. I pulled out the meat thermometer, with a long wire that goes from the metal gauge tip to the LCD reader with a handy magnetic back to stick to the top of the stove.

    Although it took FOREVER to get past 212 F, I figured it was because of my ceramic cook top (as I’ve heard those are near impossible for candy making). I finally got it to 250 and it was starting to smell a tad burnt so I stopped (it also looked like it had darkened enough). I topped half with chocolate and the other half with peanut butter chips….it’s cooling right now.

    But I just licked my spatula and I think you just introduced the devil himself into my home. 😉


    • foododelmundo permalink
      May 13, 2010 10:35 am

      Oh sister – I HATE this recipe because you ARE right it IS the DEVIL himself!
      I had to make these up on my end (Chicago) because Emma’s camera was on the fritz at her end (Washington) and her photos were coming out so badly. WE DON’T need extra sugar in our house ESPECIALLY around the holidays and to hell with giving it away – it’s too damn good 😉
      Hope the final product was DELISH and you’ve convinced yourself to go get a candy thermometer – the meat thermometer was never inteded to hit those heights.
      Thanks for coming back and commenting!

      • Natasha permalink
        May 15, 2010 6:54 am

        They were heavenly…just as I expected! My hubby took half the batch (because I think I hoovered the other half already) to a gaming night with a bunch of local Swiss guys and none of them had ever experienced anything like it (they’re baking is TOTALLY different here!). Needless to say, they loved them!

        I also blogged about it over at Domestica. Thanks again!



  1. English Toffee – Foodo del Mundo | Happy Happy Joy Joy
  2. The Devil in Pan Form « Domestica

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