I love to give homemade gifts for Christmas! They can be a great way to show you care without blowing your holiday budget. This year I am making candy to give to teachers, bus drivers, scout leaders, and friends. When I came across this English Toffee recipe in the book 365 Ways to Prepare for Christmas, I knew it would be just perfect for holiday gift giving this year.
I made a trial batch last week and it turned out wonderfully. I think it tastes just like a Heath bar! This recipe has just 4 ingredients that you probably already have on hand. I recommend using a candy thermometer, but I couldn’t find mine as we still have some boxes to be unpacked from our move over the summer. So you can make it without a candy thermometer, you just need a bowl of ice water nearby to test whether it has been cooked long enough (more on that later). I found the candy thermometer before I made a second batch and it does make things a little bit easier.
English Toffee Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 sticks of butter (the real stuff!)
- 12 oz. bag of milk chocolate chips
In a food processor, pulse to coarsely chop the almonds. Be careful not to run it too long or you will make almond butter! Set aside.
Add the sugar and butter to a large saucepan. Don’t melt the butter before you add the sugar, add them both at the same time. Otherwise, it doesn’t completely combine correctly. I made this mistake the first time I made the recipe. Just add both to the pot at the same time and you will be fine.
Over medium heat, bring the butter and sugar to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches a golden brown color and it reaches 300 degrees on the candy thermometer – the hard crack stage. (If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can periodically drop a bit of the mixture into ice water. If the bit you drop makes threads in the ice water that are brittle and hard, it is done.)
Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a buttered 9×13 inch baking dish. Or alternately you can pour it into a jelly roll pan that is lined with a silicone baking mat. That is what I did. No need to grease it and the candy comes up easily when it is cooled. Less mess and fuss that way!
Next, sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top. The hot syrup will quickly melt the chocolate chips so you can spread it.
Sprinkle the chopped almonds evenly over the melted chocolate. Stick the pan in the refrigerator to harden for an hour or two. After the candy has set, break into chunks and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!
If you make this English Toffee recipe, you will have to let me know how it turns out. So tell me… Are you making any Christmas candy to give as gifts this holiday season?