Thursday, December 23, 2010

Butter Toffee

As it is two days before Christmas, I should be sitting on my couch writing this by the glow of my tree, Hallmark Christmas movies playing it the background and the house smelling of every kind of Christmas goodies. Notice I said should, not am. Instead, I'm sitting at my kitchen table, which is piled with junk, listening to a loud carpet cleaner and smelling the strong stench of cleaners that are trying to undo the musty smell coming from my wet, soggy carpets. Crazy, right? Turns out, not only do Southern Californians not know how to deal with the rain, but apparently my house wasn't build for it either. We've had a week of straight rain, and it all decided to somehow get under our house, through cracks in the cement, and soak our carpet and pads, creating a nice moldy/musty smell. I'm not surprised, as this same thing happened last year, but I'm quite mad that my landlord didn't fix it all the way last year. Anyway, hopefully it will all be taken care of by today, temporary fix anyway, and Brian and I can have a cozy Christmas morning here.
{Thanks Eduardo for helping me with this mess!}
Now that I got that out of my system, on to the butter toffee. I did a majority of my Christmas baking on Monday, before my house was torn apart. I was for sure making caramel, but thought why not give toffee a chance too? After all I already kind of did it once when I was experimenting with caramel, and this recipe made it look super easy. It totally was a no brainer. As long as you have a candy thermometer that works (see caramel post for my sad story) and a strong hand to stir with I'm sure you can make this work. I actually made this right before the caramel, and my thermometer managed to stay attached to the pot.

This is called butter toffee, I'm assuming, because of the 16 ounces of butter it calls for. That's four cubes! And the only other ingredients are water and sugar. The recipe is written in weight, and because I don't have a food scale (I know! Shame on me!) I did some research and some calculations to figure out how to measure using measuring cups and spoons. My toffee turned out amazing, so I'm thinking these measurements worked out just fine. (Listed below)

For the chocolate I used the Wilton baking chips, my go to chocolate. I would have loved to use some good quality candy making chocolate, but I already had these, so I figured I'd just use them and they worked out great. And they are so easy to melt, you don't really have to temper them. But they key to melting these is to not let them melt entirely in the microwave. Take them out every ten seconds or so and stir, and then remove them when there are still chunks of chocolate. Continue to stir and the hot chocolate will melt the rest of it. That way you don't get white, streaky chocolate. It tastes the same, just doesn't look so pretty.

I poured the toffee onto parchment paper in a cookie sheet. I had enough to do one full sheet and maybe half of another. I couldn't spread it as thin as the recipe says to because I didn't know it would fill the pan so much. But it didn't matter. One pan I put chocolate on the top and bottom, and the other just on the top. And I topped some of it with chopped walnuts.
Everyone I've given this too has loved it. I'm putting the rest of the toffee on my cookie platters for Christmas day dessert. It's going to look really pretty!

Butter Toffee Recipe from Pioneer Woman

Butter Toffee Recipe
(My measurements based on measuring cups and spoons, not weight)
4 cubes of butter,
2 cups + 4 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup + 1/8 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 bags Wilton baking chips, dark chocolate

*Necessary Equipment: Candy Thermometer*
Combine butter, sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Cook over moderate heat, stirring gently, until candy thermometer registers 298 degrees.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla until well combined.
Pour the mixture onto a silicone baking mat or good parchment paper. Use a heatproof rubber spatula or offset spatula to spread quickly before the toffee sets. Spread thin.
Allow toffee to cool completely. Blot to remove excess oil from the surface. Coat surface with half of the melted chocolate and immediately sprinkle with topping.
When chocolate has totally set, carefully flip over (it’s okay if it falls apart a bit) and coat other side with the rest of the chocolate. Sprinkle on topping.
Allow to set, then break into bite-size pieces.
Store in an airtight container.

1 comment:

  1. yep....this is on my list for today....I'm putting sea salt on top of my chocolate :) Yours look YUMMY!!


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