This is for Ruthie (and anyone else who enjoys making candy). In the comments last week, Ruthie said she buys English Toffee locally for about $16 per pound. My cost per pound is a fraction of that. I did the math at the bottom of this post. Ruthie, enjoy!
A good friend of mine has a sister-in-law who is a local chocolatier. When my friend expressed interest in making some candy at home, her sister-in-law gave her this recipe.
The is the full recipe. It makes about 3 1/2 pounds of candy (good for giving gifts, not so good for my waistline). I make a half recipe when it's just for my family. Next time, I plan on making a quarter recipe.
It's simple, just 4 ingredients -- granulated sugar, salted butter (not unsalted and definitely not margarine), almonds, and milk chocolate (the better the quality of chocolate, the better the quality of the finished product, just sayin').
- 1 jelly roll pan (baking sheet with raised edges)
- 1 medium-sized saucepan and large spoon
- candy thermometer
- about 12 to 14 ounces of milk chocolate, finely chopped, divided in half (if you buy chocolate chips, chop them up into smaller pieces. They will melt better.)
- 9 ounces almonds, chopped fine, divided in half
- 1 pound of salted butter
- 2 cups white sugar, granulated
Lightly butter the jelly roll pan. Sprinkle half of the chopped nuts over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle half of the finely chopped chocolate over the nuts. Set aside.
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar. Cook to 300 degrees F, stirring constantly. When it reaches 300 degrees F, remove from heat. Quickly pour the cooked butter and sugar over the layers in the prepared jelly roll pan.
Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate and spread to the edges of the toffee with a knife or off-set spatula. Sprinkle with remaining nuts. Cool.
Break into pieces. Store in an airtight tin. Keeps for about a week at room temperature, but a month in the fridge.
Since gifts are largely about presentation, I think this looks nice, one of two ways, when given as a gift. Either in a single, large chunk per box or tin, wrapped in a large sheet of parchment inside the box, or, if broken into single-serving bites, in mini-muffins liners or candy paper cups, as you'd find in a box of chocolates.
I buy my ingredients fairly frugally, butter under $2 per pound, sugar under 40 cents per pound, chocolate as milk chocolate chips in bulk at WinCo for about $3 per pound, and whole almonds under $6 per pound. Making a half-batch (about 1 1/2 pounds of candy) costs me about $3.50. That's about 15 cents per ounce, or $2.40 per pound. (BTW, an ordinary candy bar at the grocery store, weighing about 1.50 to 2 ounces, costs between 40 and 50 cents per ounce, or $6.40 to $8.00 per pound, on average.)