Thursday, December 15, 2011

A good gift idea

I copied this from CNN.

It looks really good and I think it would make a super homemade gift.

English toffee recipe
Makes almost 3 1/2 pounds

-1/2 cup water
-2 teaspoons of butter, melted, to brush foil
-2 cups sugar
-2 mounded tablespoons light corn syrup (this makes the texture less like peanut brittle)
-1 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
-3 cups chopped pecans
-12 ounces milk chocolate chips
-6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
-1 pound of unsalted butter, or 1 pound of lightly salted butter if opting out of the salt

Tools to make it easier on yourself:
-Candy thermometer
-Double boiler
-Heavy-bottomed medium saucepan
-Two 1/4-inch 15" x 20" plywood boards
-Pizza cutter
-Wide heavy-duty aluminum foil


-Tear off 23" in length of 18" wide heavy-duty aluminum foil and brush the matte, non-shiny side with butter. Fold up 2-1/2" on each end and 2 -1/2" on each long side, forming a makeshift pan. This should leave you with a 13" x 18" surface on which to pour the hot toffee. This fits perfectly on the plywood with some room around the edges. This will function as your “pan” for the toffee. An actual pan keeps in the heat, which doesn’t allow the toffee to set up as quickly. The board will also keep the hot candy from scorching your work surface.

-Measure out the water and add corn syrup, stirring the two together.

-Pour this mixture into a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add sugar and butter and clip your candy thermometer to the side of the pan before it gets hot. Turn on the heat to medium high, stirring constantly.

-While this is cooking - it should take a while to reach 310 degrees Fahrenheit - put water in the bottom component of the double boiler and turn it on low. Pour your chocolate chips into the top component and melt chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted, turn it off and it’s ready to spread on the toffee

-Chop pecans and have them ready to sprinkle on the finished toffee.

-The candy is going to start bubbling and thickening, and eventually turn a caramel color, until it reaches 310 degrees (the “hard crack stage” in candy making).

-When it reaches that temperature, remove from heat immediately.

-Carefully pour candy onto foil evenly. If need be, you can grip the plywood base to tilt it in the right direction if it doesn’t spread.

-If you use these exact measurements, wait 4-5 minutes before cutting the toffee. If you use a smaller space, you will need more time for the candy to cool.

-Using a pizza cutter, (blunt is best; sharp will go through the foil, but if all you have is a sharp pizza cutter, use a light hand), run through the toffee length and width wise to create 1-1/2 inch squares. (If your pizza cutter doesn’t leave an impression, it’s still too warm and you might want to wait another minute before trying again). This will help the toffee to break later, rather than forming definite squares.

-After cutting, lift the top part of double boiler off and dry the bottom of it so it doesn’t drip onto the candy. Take a spatula and spread a thin layer of chocolate over the top of the toffee. You can use just enough to cover the surface, but thickness is up to personal preference.

-Then, liberally sprinkle the chopped pecans on top of the melted chocolate.

-Place an unbuttered sheet of foil on top of the toffee and tuck foil around edges. Place your second board of plywood on top and flip it over.

-After flipping, remove the top board and let sit for 1-2 minutes before you remove foil. If you peel the foil and it starts to stick, wait another minute and it should come off.

-Once you peel off the foil, repeat the chocolate and nut process.

-Cover this with another piece of foil and the second plywood board, and flip it over again.

-Remove the top piece of foil and retaining the bottom piece of foil, slide it off of the board and onto a wire cooling rack.

-Sit the wire rack in coolest room of your house. The toffee needs to cool for at least a few hours.

-After it is cool, break the toffee into pieces. It usually breaks where pizza cutter went through. If it isn’t breaking into even pieces, it doesn’t matter.

-Store the toffee in wax-paper lined tins at room temperature and it will keep for weeks.

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