In a perfect balance of sweet buttery toffee and bittersweet dark chocolate, this candy is one of my favorite holiday treats. Truth be told, I’ve been known to make this treat for my friends throughout the year not just for the holidays.
I think that the reason I love this toffee so much is due to how thin I make it. It is not thick and crunchy like the other toffees I’ve tried in the past.
I’ve been playing with the recipe for a couple years now and I’ve found a few tricks that help make this the easiest candy I’ve ever made. The easy part? NO Candy Thermometer. The only special equipment you need is a brown paper bag.
- 2 cups butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips I choose to use Ghiradelli bittersweet dark chocolate
- In a heavy bottomed skillet (NOT a non-stick skillet), over medium heat, combine the butter, sugar, water and salt. As the butter melts, stir with a wooden spoon or spatula to combine. (I use a wooden one, because the mixture does not seem to stick to it as much as a metal or plastic one.) Bring to a boil and then don't stir or mess with the mixture again until it is caramel colored.(Do not walk out of the kitchen though. Never ever leave something this hot boiling on the stove unattended. Also, if you have children in the house, please use a rear burner to make this. The toffee is going to be boiling at an extremely high temperature.)
- Set a brown paper bag near the stove and let the mixture boil until it matches the bag in color. This takes between 18-20 minutes and I ALWAYS set a timer. Just in case I find myself distracted, the timer prevents me from letting the candy burn. While the toffee is boiling, prepare two large baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or silpat mats. (Do not use waxed paper, it will melt.) The pans will be extremely hot when you pour the toffee onto them. I always set them on hot pads or a folded towel on top of the counter.
- Once the toffee is caramel colored, remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Stir to combine. Quickly divide the toffee between the two baking sheets. Using a spatula or an offset knife, spread the toffee as thinly as possible across the baking sheets. Let it cool completely. I like to set the pans in the refrigerator to speed up the process, but it will also cool at room temperature.
- When the toffee is cool, blot with a paper towel to remove excess oils from the surface. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. The chocolate can also be melted in a microwave at 50% power, checking and stirring every 60-90 seconds.
- Spread the warm chocolate across the toffee and then place in the refrigerator to cool completely. It would probably cool fine on the counter as well, but I have never been that patient. Once cooled, break into pieces. Share with friends and Enjoy!