With it’s crunchy burnt sugar bottom, sweet chocolate layer and bits of toasted almonds on top, Old English Almond Toffee is a great neighbor gift or treat to add to a Christmas goodies platter. It’s easy to make and looks beautiful. That’s a win-win in my book. This sweet treat has always been one of my favorite candies, especially around the holidays. This is why…
When I was a little girl I remember going to my aunts house to watch her and my mom hand-dip chocolates and make delicious chocolate platters for friends and neighbors. They always did this around Thanksgiving so they could be ready for the Christmas chocolate season. The homemade Old English Almond Toffee was always one of my favorite treats to sneak off the platter. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized how easy it can be to make (good if I want a piece, bad because I can eat a whole batch it’s so good). You might already have all the ingredients on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:
If you’re looking for the full printable recipe, you will find it below. As for the directions, they are pretty basic. Start with a large sauce pan, preferably a heavy duty one. I sometimes use an old pressure cooker pot (my dad found at the Deseret Industries, which is a thrift store like Goodwill or the Salvation Army). Add the butter/margarine, sugar and corn syrup.
As it heats, stir constantly, but don’t scrape the sides of the pot. The number one cause for a batch of toffee to be ruined is crystallization. It’s when the sugar doesn’t fully melt or sugar crystals come in contact with the batch. This will make the toffee soft and grainy instead of smooth and crunchy. To air on the safe side you can even go as far as using a basting brush and water to wash down the sides of the pan. This will wash and help melt any sugar crystals stuck to the side of the pan. Heat the toffee mixture on low-medium to medium heat. Keeping the mixture at a constant temperature is important. This will help avoid separation of the butter and sugar. Using a candy thermometer (that’s been calibrated–more about how to calibrate your thermometer at the bottom of this post), heat mixture until is above 285 degrees. Pull off the heat and add vanilla, salt and 3/4 cup of chopped almonds (I prefer almonds in the toffee as well as on it. It makes the toffee easier to break and not quite so hard to bite).
Stir (avoid scraping the sides of the pan) then pour onto your prepared pan. DO NOT scrap the excess out of the pan. This can cause crystallization.
Quickly smooth hot toffee mixture then immediately spread chocolate over the hot toffee.
Cover with a piece of tinfoil to create a mini oven to help melt the chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted, spread it all over the toffee ensuring it goes to the edges.
Now we get a little nutty ;). Sprinkle the toasted almond bits over the wet, warm chocolate.
Let the toffee cool completely then crack it into pieces.
Congratulations–You’ve officially made Old English Almond Toffee! This truly is a quick, easy treat to make all year around but is really great during the holidays. It’s perfect as a sweet treat on a Christmas dessert platter or in a cute bag for friends and family. Here’s how I packaged it for our neighbors.
Old English Almond Toffee
- 1 cup butter/margarine
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups almonds toasted and chopped plus 3/4 cup if adding to toffee (optional)
- 2 cups chocolate
- In large, heavy sauce pan, add butter/margarine, sugar, water and corn syrup.
- Using a candy thermometer, heat on low-medium to medium heat, stirring constantly, until toffee mixture is above 285 degrees. Avoid scrapping sides of the pot. (You may use a pastry basting brush and water to wash down sides to avoid sugar crystals--that will cause toffee to crystallize).
- Pull off heat and stir in vanilla, salt and 3/4 cup of chopped almonds (optional). Avoid scraping sides of the pan.
- Pour onto lightly buttered cookie sheet or silicone mat. DO NOT scrap the excess out of the pan. This may cause crystallization.
- Quickly smooth hot toffee mixture then spread chocolate over hot toffee. Cover with a piece of tinfoil to speed up the chocolate melting.
- Once melted, spread and sprinkle remainder of toasted almond bits over the wet chocolate. Let the toffee cool completely then crack it into pieces.
To calibrate thermometer, put thermometer into boiling water. Water boils at 212 degrees. See what temperature your thermometer reads. If it's more or less than 212 degrees you will need to adjust the temperature for this candy to cook accurately. For example, if my thermometer reads 202 degrees when the water boils, my thermometer reads 10 degrees less than accurate. This means when I cook a candy that needs to reach 285 degrees, I will have met 285 degrees when my thermometer reaches 275 degrees.
What’s your favorite Christmas goody?
*I would like to thank my mom for this recipe. It’s a recipe she’s had for years and years. After I made my first batch, I tweaked the recipe slightly to make how I prefer.
To calibrate a thermometer, put the thermometer into boiling water. Water boils at 212 degrees at sea level. Look up the boiling point of water for your altitude here. Read the temperature of your thermometer when the water boils. If it doesn’t match the boiling temperature for your altitude, you will need to adjust your recipe temperature by the difference between the boiling point at your elevation and the reading you took on the thermometer. For example, if my thermometer reads 202 degrees when the water boils at sea level, my thermometer reads 10 degrees less than accurate. This means when I cook a candy that needs to reach 285 degrees, I will have met 285 degrees when my thermometer reaches 275 degrees (more or less assuming the error in the thermometer is constant across all temperatures).