The taste of the holidays is different for all of us. For someone it could be cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning,or latkes during Chanukah, a Christmas ham, British mince pies, roasted lamb, gingerbread cookies or even English toffee. For me, it is English toffee , hands down and there’s no competition. The toffee only made an appearance on Christmas Eve and it was certainly a special treat. My Grandma B was the candy maker in our family. She spoiled us with her creamy caramels, peanut butter balls, heavenly fudge, and peanut brittle. These delights would be served on tiered trays that were strategically placed around her festive house. I always told her she could sell her toffee as it was just so incredibly delicious. It wanted to learn how to make it so I spent the night at her house one evening my freshmen year of college and she showed me her tricks and luckily I still remember them with a few pointers from my aunt!
First, you have to have a heavy aluminum pan and a good candy thermometer before you set on the toffee making mission!
An optional ingredient is liquid lecithin which you can purchase as at health food store. I always use it and it works well for me.
I’ve tried making it on an electric stove and have failed every time as the butter and sugar have separated on me much to my dismay! The gas stove does the trick for me as it keeps even and consistent heat throughout the cooking process.
Second, butter a cookie sheet and have it ready as you will need to stir the mixture all the way up until it reaches the correct temperature and pour it right in the pan.
Grandma’s English Toffee
1 cup sugar
1cup unsalted butter (good quality works best)
3 Tbsp filtered water
1 1/2 tsp liquid lecithin
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 – 8 ounce chocolate bars ( gluten free chocolate or your favorite chocolate)
slivered almonds for the top, approximately 1 Cupid
Combine sugar, butter, water & lecithin in a heavy aluminum pan over medium low to medium heat. Stir constantly ( I mean constantly for about half an hour. The trick is to be patient and let the temperature rise gently adjusting g the heat as necessary until the candy thermometer reads 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and add vanilla and pour in buttered 9×13″ pan. Lay chocolate bars on top and when melted, spread evenly. While still warm, spread or sprinklecombine sugar, butter, water & lecithin in heavy pan & cook tp 280-300 stirring to keep from burning. remove from heat and add vanilla and pour in buttered 9×9 pan. Lay bars on top and when melted, spread evenly. While still warm, spread or sprinkle with choped pecans;. Cook and break into pieces. with slivered almonds. Cool and break into pieces with the tip of a knife.
There’s always room for a new favorite that can be added to your holiday feasts to share with family and friends!