Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sweet Melissa Sundays: Butter Toffee Crunch

It's hard to believe, but it is already my turn to host Sweet Melissa Sundays. As I pored over the cookbook a few weeks ago, I realized what a hard decision it was going to be. I had at least 20 recipes on my short list. Slowly but steadily, I worked it down to my selection: Butter Toffee Crunch. I'm a sucker for candy-making.

Ah, and what a choice. Chewy, buttery toffee smothered in chocolate, with chopped blanched almonds on the top and bottom. Not only is this recipe beautiful to look at, but it is delicious and seriously addictive. It tastes exactly like a Skor bar but has the added crunch and flavour of the almonds. On top of all that, it lasts for weeks in the fridge while still maintaining that perfect crunch, which means it's a great gift giving option for Christmas. In fact, I plan on serving Butter Toffee Crunch at the candy bar we'll be having at our wedding - I can make it a couple of weeks ahead of time and I know it'll be just as tasty as the day I made it.

The preparation is relatively easy, as long as you've got the proper equipment (particularly a candy thermometer), a bit of patience and the ability to quickly add your baking soda and vanilla at the right time. Sure, seeing how much brown sugar and butter goes into the preparation may make you feel a bit guilty. Case in point:

Still, given the end result, I think it's totally worth it. Hopefully, you feel the same. Thank you for baking along with me this week, and I hope you enjoyed it! Click here to check out the other Sweet Melissa Sundays bakers. The recipe is below.

Butter Toffee Crunch
Makes 3 pounds toffee crunch (Note: it halves beautifully!)

1 1/2 cups sliced blanched almonds, finely chopped
4 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons water
20 tablespoons (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
2 cups (one 12-oz bag) semisweet (58%) chocolate chips

Before you start: lightly butter a jelly-roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet.
1. Coat the prepared pan with half of the chopped almonds.
2. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat, stir together the brown sugar, water and butter and bring to a boil. Cover for 3 minutes (this will melt any sugar crystals stuck on the sides of the pan, which will prevent crystallization). Uncover, attach a candy thermometer, and cook, without stirring, to 290F. Watch carefully after it reaches 280F to avoid scorching.
3. Have ready a long-handled spoon and a buttered metal offset spatula. Remove the hot sugar from the heat, add the vanilla and baking soda, and stir with the long-handled spoon (the mixture will bubble up when you add the baking soda).
4. Immediately pour the hot toffee onto the prepared pan. Spread as evenly as possible with the buttered metal spatula. Quickly scatter the chocolate chips over the hot toffee. Wait for 5 minutes and then spread the melted chocolate evenly with a clean, ungreased metal spatula.
5. Sprinkle the remaining almonds over the chocolate. Cool completely before breaking the toffee into pieces.

The toffee crunch keeps in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool dry place for up to 1 week, or in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.


Candy Girl November 15, 2009 at 8:27:00 AM EST  

Your toffee looks and sounds delicous! I wasn't quite as successful...

Thanks for hosting this week!

Steph November 15, 2009 at 8:29:00 AM EST  

I think it's amazing that it will stay fresh for so long. How's the wedding planning going so far?

Flourchild November 15, 2009 at 8:38:00 AM EST  

Congrats on being the hostess for this week! My toffee does not have a crunch, but it's chewy and good! Thanks for being part of SMS, it's great having you to bake with!

Joyce November 15, 2009 at 3:26:00 PM EST  

Looks delish!

Clivia November 15, 2009 at 4:33:00 PM EST  

I love toffee. Now you given me a recipe to make my own. Nuts!
Beautifully done.

Tracey November 15, 2009 at 5:01:00 PM EST  

Thank you for hosting this week!! I'm not a huge candy fan, but I really enjoyed making this toffee. Mine turned out well and my taste tester enjoyed it :)

I think this would be fantastic to make for your wedding! Great idea.

Susan November 15, 2009 at 5:01:00 PM EST  

This is delicious! Easy to make, impressive to give. Thanks for a great choice! Yours looks great.

lakegirl November 15, 2009 at 6:28:00 PM EST  

Thanks for a great choice of recipes. We love this toffee!

k.a.r.e.n November 15, 2009 at 8:44:00 PM EST  

Great pick! This is one that was super easy to put together.

Pamela November 15, 2009 at 10:03:00 PM EST  

Wow! That looks incredible! It would be great for the holidays, too. And I love the idea of a candy bar at your wedding! Sounds like fun.

MaryBeth November 15, 2009 at 10:03:00 PM EST  

Your toffee looks so darn good...i love good toffee!

margot November 16, 2009 at 12:52:00 AM EST  

Your toffee looks fantastic and what a fun idea to have a candy bar at your wedding! I had my share of problems with this, but the final batch turned out yummy and it is really hard to stop eating.

Thanks for hosting this week; I always like when the selection is something I wouldn't have tried on my own.

Jeannette November 17, 2009 at 3:50:00 PM EST  

thank you for choosing this recipe!! i never would have had the guts to try it on my own!!

HoneyB November 19, 2009 at 8:09:00 AM EST  

Oh dear, I really wish I could eat this stuff....but when I start, I can't stop! It looks yummy!

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