English toffee, an exquisite confection, is a testament to the simplicity and elegance of traditional sweets. It’s a recipe that brings together the richness of butter and sugar with the delightful crunch of nuts, all cloaked in a layer of smooth chocolate. It’s not just a dessert; it’s a piece of culinary artistry. At least, that’s the way I feel when I’m making this or any of my homemade candy.

My love for English toffee began as a child, as it was a staple candy at my family Christmas gatherings. My Aunt would always put it in her holiday candy boxes that she gifted and I would dig in with awe of what spectacular treats she was able to create. As soon as I got my own kitchen, I dove right in. Learning how to create these delicious candies.

English Toffee and peanut brittle on a counter

A deep dive into candy making

For those interested in diving deeper into perfecting English toffee, I’ve created an online course, The Magic of Candy Making: A Holiday Candy Online Course. In this course, you’ll become a candy making all-star within a day. Seriously, it’s a step-by-step guide to teach you to make your own amazing candy. You will not only learn English toffee, but fudge, caramel candy & peanut brittle.

The chemistry of English toffee

The process involves a Maillard reaction, where the sugars and proteins in butter combine under heat, creating complex flavors and the characteristic golden-brown color. Achieving the ‘hard crack’ stage, precisely at 300 degrees, is crucial. This is where the sugar syrup solidifies into hard, brittle structure upon cooling, giving English toffee its signature crunch.

Can I use different nuts in English toffee?

Absolutely! While almonds and pecans are popular choices, you can experiment with walnuts, hazelnuts, or even a mix of your favorite nuts for a personalized touch.

Why does my toffee sometimes turn out grainy?

This will happen if your sugar does not melt down properly. Make sure you are cooking the candy at a medium low temperature and allowing the sugar to fully melt. Low and slow is the name of the game. Cooking candy low and slow will make sure that the moisture doesn’t evaporate fully and the sugar can melt into a syrup.

How do I know when the toffee has reached the ‘hard crack’ stage?

Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. The hard crack stage is reached at 300 degrees, where the syrup forms brittle threads in cold water. Don’t take this journey without the candy thermometer.

Can English toffee be made ahead of time?

Yes, it’s a fantastic make-ahead treat. Store it in a airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for longer shelf life.

English toffee being poured out to cool

What is in English Toffee?

  • Unsalted butter: Provides a rich, creamy base. Using unsalted butter allows you to control the salt content.
  • Granulated sugar: The foundation of the candy, it caramelizes to give that classic toffee flavor.
  • Fine sea salt: Enhances the overall flavor profile.
  • Vanilla extract: Adds a subtle depth and aroma.
  • Chocolate chips: Creates a silky, chocolatey layer on top.
  • Toasted almonds & Chopped pecans: Optional but recommended for added texture and nuttiness.

How to store English Toffee

To maintain its texture and flavor, store English toffee in an airtight container. Keep it away from moisture and heat sources, which will prevent it from becoming sticky or melting. If stored properly, the toffee can last up to 2 weeks at room temperature. Making it a great choice for holiday gifting.

Can you freeze English Toffee?

English toffee freezes exceptionally well. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Can you make English Toffee ahead of time?

Making English Toffee ahead of time is a great way to reduce holiday stress. Prepare it up to 2 weeks in advance and store in a cool, dry place until ready to serve or gift.

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fudge, english toffee, peanut brittle and caramel candy all laid out on a counter

English Toffee

5 from 1 vote
Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 24 pieces
This toffee is crunchy, rich and delicious! Perfect for gifts or candy dishes.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toasted almonds **optional**
  • 1 cup chopped pecans **optional**

Instructions

  • If using almonds, place almonds on a microwave safe plate, spread out, not touching each other & microwave for 1 minute to toast
  • In a medium sauce pan combine butter, sugar, salt & vanilla over medium high heat
  • Boil until it reaches hard crack temperature (300 degrees)
  • Pour onto a greased or lined cookie sheet, if you are using almonds, place them on the cookie sheet first and pour the toffee over the top
  • Spread the mixture out with the back of a wooden spoon
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips ontop and let sit and melt for 5 minutes
  • Use the back of a spoon and spread the chocolate on top
  • If using pecans, sprinkle on top of chocolate
  • Place pan in freezer to set for 20 minutes
  • Once set, break into pieces and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 202kcal Carbohydrates: 18g Protein: 0.5g Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 8g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0.3g Cholesterol: 20mg Sodium: 25mg Potassium: 62mg Fiber: 0.4g Sugar: 17g Vitamin A: 239IU Vitamin C: 0.05mg Calcium: 16mg Iron: 0.1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.