How to make perfect toffee candy at home! Today begins a week of candy recipes, and we’re starting with a classic favorite!
If you’re feeling intimidated by the thought of making your own candy at home, don’t be! I walk you through the whole process in my toffee recipe and I’ve included a how-to video. You’ve got this!
Today I’m kicking off a week of candy recipes! Every day this week I’ll be sharing a great (giftable!!) candy recipe, and today we’re starting with this perfect Toffee Recipe. What more could you ask for on a Monday morning 😉
For the longest time, candy making intimidated me. Aside from my family’s favorite chocolate fudge (and thermometer-free treats like potato candy), I preferred to keep my distance and stick to cookies and cakes. I’m also not terribly patient, so the temptation to bump up the heat on my stovetop to speed up the process was real, and often my most fatal mistake. So many ruined batches of candy made their way through my kitchen, so I know firsthand how frustrating and discouraging a failed batch of toffee can be!
Today I’ll be sharing plenty of tips so you can make your own perfect toffee at home. Some of these you’ll see reiterated in the next few days as they’ll apply to other candy recipes as well. Let’s jump in.
Tips for Making Toffee
Have all of your ingredients ready before you begin
You’ll probably see this tip repeated in just about every post this week. That’s because with candy, this step is very important. Once your toffee reaches 305°F, it’s time to move. You need to immediately remove it from heat, add your vanilla extract, stir, and pour it into a pan, What you don’t have time to do is go scrambling to your spice cabinet to measure out your vanilla, find that rogue measuring spoon in your kitchen drawer, line your pan with parchment, chop your almonds… you get the idea. Be prepared and set yourself up for success from the beginning.
I also recommend reading through the whole recipe at least once and even watching the video before you begin.
Patience is key
You’ll notice that this recipe has you cook your toffee over medium heat. You’ll also notice while you’re cooking it that it’s taking a while. Ten or more minutes may go by and your candy thermometer is still creeping along at a snail’s pace.
You’ve got other things to do, I get it, but whatever you do, do not try to speed up your toffee making process by turning up the heat! What’s likely to happen if you turn up the heat is you will probably scorch your mixture and burn your toffee. Then you have to start all over again.
Invest in a decent candy thermometer
Investing in a good candy thermometer was a game changer for me. I use this inexpensive digital candy thermometer that I bought off of Amazon (affiliate).
Now some people will argue that they can make perfect toffee just fine without a candy thermometer thank-you-very-much, and I have no doubt that’s true. Some people will use the hard crack test (drizzle a small bit of the syrup mixture off a spoon into a cup of cold water. If it forms threads and even cracks, it’s done — this is actually a great test to use along with your candy thermometer reading) or will be able to judge when their toffee is finished just by looking at the color of it (the deep caramel color is a great indicator). However, for most of us, a candy thermometer is a critical tool for making perfect candy and I highly recommend using one.
Don’t get discouraged!
Did your first batch not turn out perfectly? It’s OK and it happens to the best of us. The only way to overcome this is try again and practice, practice, practice. Fortunately I have plenty of recipes coming your way this week to help you get familiar with your candy thermometer and develop a knack for making candy in your own kitchen.
What Ingredients do I Need for Toffee?
- Vanilla Extract
And then optional ingredients include:
- Nuts (I use almonds)
- Chocolate (for topping)
- Flaky sea salt
Don’t forget that you will also need a candy thermometer!
How Long Can I Store Toffee?
If stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, your toffee will keep for several weeks.
Whew, that was a lot! Sorry for talking so much but hopefully you’ll find these tips to be helpful when you try your hand at making your own toffee! And if you make it and want to share a picture, please tag me on Instagram (@sugarspun_sam and #sugarspunrun) or share a picture in my free Facebook Baker’s Club! I just may be doing a few more fun giveaways in the Facebook group this month, so stay tuned!
How to Make Toffee
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds*
- 1 cup (2 sticks ) unsalted butter cut into pieces (226g)
- 1 cup granulated sugar 200g
- 1/4 cup water 60ml
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1-2 Tablespoons finely chopped almonds for topping, optional
- Flaky sea salt for topping, optional
- Candy thermometer (see note at the bottom of the recipe for the one that I use)
- Pastry brush
- Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper and scatter coarsely chopped almonds evenly over the bottom. Set aside.
- Combine butter, sugar, water, and salt in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Meanwhile measure out your vanilla extract and have it ready nearby.
- Stir ingredients frequently over medium heat. During this time (only before boiling), use a wet pastry brush to brush down the sides where any sugar may settle on the side of the pot to prevent sugar crystals. Continue to stir frequently until mixture comes to a boil (this may take a while, have patience and do not turn up the heat or you will ruin your toffee).
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, attach your candy thermometer. Make sure that the point of the candy thermometer is not touching the bottom of your pan.
- Continue to stir occasionally, the mixture will slowly thicken and will turn a more yellow hue as it cooks, and cook to hard crack (305°F/151°C).
- Once toffee reaches 305°F/151°C, immediately remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract (careful, it bubbles and steams a bit).
- Pour mixture evenly into your prepared pan over the almonds. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then sprinkle chocolate chips evenly overtop the mixture. Cover with foil and allow to sit another 5 minutes, then remove the foil and use a spatula to gently spread chocolate chips evenly over your toffee.
- Immediately sprinkle with additional finely chopped almonds and flaky sea salt, if desired. Allow to cool completely at room temperature before breaking and serving.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase anything through these links I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please view the disclosure policy for more information.