Sea Salt Pecan Toffee

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Sea Salt Pecan Toffee is the answer to your snacking and sweet tooth dreams. The end. Do I exaggerate? Sometimes, yes. But right now? Not really.

There aren’t a whole lot of foods that I label as “The Best Ever,” or “Crack,” or “crazy insane amazingly delicious” but this toffee recipe is exactly that. All of those things. It is EVERYTHING.

Sea Salt Pecan Toffee - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

TOFFEE RECIPE

If you have never made candy or toffee or any hot sugary boiled treat, do not fear it. Because I have a wicked easy toffee recipe making tip that you’re going to love. No candy thermometers are needed.

Want the toffee-making tip that you’ll never forget? Set a brown paper bag near the stove and let the mixture boil until it matches the bag in color.

I have never used a thermometer for making toffee. (Admittedly, at this point, I don’t need the paper bag any longer. I just eyeball it.) This takes between 18-20 minutes and I ALWAYS set a timer for 17 minutes.

Just in case I find myself distracted, the timer prevents me from letting the candy burn. It will go from perfectly amber colored to burnt in about 30 seconds, as soon as it turns light brown, pull it off the heat.

SEA SALT PECAN TOFFEE

We’ve made this toffee at least six times since Christmas because everyone I shared it with has requested it again and again. Three different people have called or texted to ask what the heck was in the toffee because they could not stop eating it.

I have already emailed the recipe out twice with promises that I would get it on the blog soon. One friend had me laughing with her text, “Is there ACTUAL crack in this? Drugs? What did you put in it? I can’t stop eating it!”

I have yet to meet anyone who can resist the salty-sweet combination in this Sea Salt Pecan Toffee. If you love salty-sweet combinations, like in The Ultimate Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie, this toffee is going to make you very happy.

Sea Salt Pecan Toffee is salty-sweet HEAVEN! Get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

I have a fairly well-known love for toffee. This Chocolate Covered Pretzel Toffee is an annual favorite, as is the Dark Chocolate Toffee Ice Cream that I make as often as possible.

As I was writing this recipe out to share with you, I looked around for some more toffee recipes to share with you and I found Brown Butter Toffee Shortbread,  Almond Club Cracker Toffee, and Salted Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies. Seriously? I LOVE the blogging world. The creativity that surrounds me inspires so many delicious things.

Check out all of our Gluten Free Dessert Recipes here!

Maldon Salt

The finishing salt is really important in this recipe. There aren’t a lot of fancy spices and ingredients in my kitchen, but Maldon flaked sea salt is a key ingredient in this toffee.

You can buy it in some grocery stores, but I found the best prices by far on Amazon. (I promise that if you buy it, you’ll use it for more than just this recipe!)

However, if you don’t want to buy a fancy salt, coarse sea salt or even kosher salt will work. Just be extra careful when sprinkling the salt on the toffee, as the smaller grains of salt can quickly turn something “salty” instead of giving just a hint of salt with the sweet toffee.

SEA SALT PECAN TOFFEE

  1. In a heavy bottomed stainless skillet, over medium heat, combine the butter, sugar, water and salt. As the butter melts, stir a few times with a wooden spoon or spatula to combine. Bring to a boil and then don’t stir or touch the mixture again until it is caramel colored.

  2. While the toffee is boiling, prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silpat mat. (Do not use waxed paper, it will melt.) Scatter the pecans across the prepared baking sheet.

  3. Once the toffee is caramel colored, remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Stir to combine. Quickly pour the toffee over the pecans. Sprinkle with Maldon salt. Let cool completely. I often set the pan in the refrigerator to speed up the process, but it will also cool at room temperature.

  4. When the toffee is cool, break into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

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Sea Salt Pecan Toffee - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Sea Salt Pecan Toffee

4.48 from 21 votes
Sea Salt Pecan Toffee is the answer to your snacking and sweet tooth dreams.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 50 pieces

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups whole pecans
  • Maldon salt for topping

Instructions

  • In a heavy bottomed stainless skillet, over medium heat, combine the butter, sugar, water and salt. As the butter melts, stir a few times with a wooden spoon or spatula to combine. Bring to a boil and then don't stir or touch the mixture again until it is caramel colored.
  • While the toffee is boiling, prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silpat mat. (Do not use waxed paper, it will melt.) Scatter the pecans across the prepared baking sheet.
  • Once the toffee is caramel colored, remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Stir to combine. Quickly pour the toffee over the pecans. Sprinkle with Maldon salt. Let cool completely. I often set the pan in the refrigerator to speed up the process, but it will also cool at room temperature.
  • When the toffee is cool, break into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Notes

The finishing salt is really important here. There aren't a lot of fancy spices and ingredients in my kitchen, but Maldon flaked sea salt is a key ingredient in this toffee. You can buy it in some grocery stores, but I found the best prices by far on Amazon. (I promise that if you buy it, you'll use it for more than just this recipe!) However, if you don't want to buy a fancy salt, coarse sea salt or even kosher salt will work. Just be extra careful when sprinkling the salt on the toffee, as the smaller grains of salt can quickly turn something "salty" instead of giving just a hint of salt with the sweet toffee.

Nutrition

Calories: 123kcal · Carbohydrates: 8g · Fat: 10g · Saturated Fat: 4g · Cholesterol: 19mg · Sodium: 88mg · Potassium: 18mg · Sugar: 8g · Vitamin A: 230IU · Vitamin C: 0.1mg · Calcium: 5mg · Iron: 0.1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

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{originally published 2/26/17 – recipe notes and photos updated 10/30/18}

Sea Salt Pecan Toffee is a dream come true! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. tlee says

    This was not a good recipe for me. Too sweet and I did not care for the vanilla. I wish I had made a smaller batch and not consumed 3 cups of fresh pecans.1 star

  2. Mary McCarty says

    I ATTEMPTED to make this recipe and followed it exactly! The butter separated. After googling to find out what went wrong, and this being my first attempt, it stated you must use good quality “salted” butter or add 1/4 tsp of salt per stick of butter. It also stated you MUST stir it slowly when stirring (hence the stirring of the vanilla). It also states that you must slowly dissolve the sugar at low heat then turn up the heat to medium high until caramel color. The sad thing is I made 6 batches of this stuff and each batch the butter separated more and more. So think about 12 boxes of butter, 12 cups of sugar, 12 cups of nuts etc. Please google several recipes and see what their directions state because this recipe is to expensive to waste. I did wipe off the excess butter from each of my sheets which did help some though it was still slightly greasy to touch.2 stars

    • Mary says

      Hi Mary,

      I sympathize with your frustration with the recipe, as I’m always disappointed when things don’t turn out perfectly. That said, I do not understand why you kept making it (i.e. six batches) if you did not like the results. I’ve made this toffee dozens of times and like I mentioned above it is a butter toffee and slightly oily. But the butter should not be separating or causing whatever other issues you were dealing with. I honestly do not know what went wrong for you. Hopefully it’s still delicious and you will be able to enjoy it.

      All the best,
      Mary

  3. billye says

    This was simply amazing and so simple! Your recommendation NOT to stir it after it began to boil AND to pull it off the heat once it got the color of a paper bag was brilliant! Merry Christmas!5 stars

  4. Vicki says

    I adore toasted nuts. Can I lightly toast the pecans first or will the toasting combined with the hot toffee be too much?

  5. Tracy A says

    Love the toffee and all the helpful hints…but mine comes out wet or oily feeling. What am I doing wrong? I would prefer if it were dry to the touch.5 stars

    • Mary says

      Butter toffee should be somewhat oily initially. If that bothers you, you can wipe it with a paper towel. However, it shouldn’t be “wet” or soft after it cools completely.

    • Lori says

      The video doesn’t seem to match the listed ingredients, in terms of quantity. It looks like 16 T (1 cup) of butter were added, but the recipe calls for two cups (32 T).

  6. Joan A Wood says

    I After I poured my candy over the nuts the butter seemed to separate out. I finally drained it off (almost a full cup of melted fat). Candy did not set completely, so I put it in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 mins. Why would the butter separate out? Did you mean two sticks or two cups of butter?3 stars

    • Mary says

      I have no idea how or why that would happen. The recipe is for 2 cups of butter, 4 sticks total. You can see how it should work and look in the video at the top of this post.

  7. Debbie Smith says

    Made this today and it was easy and delicious. I needed to put it away because I kept going back for more!!!5 stars

  8. Millican Pecan says

    I definitely will make this for Christmas gifts! Everyone loves homemade treats, even though some say you “shouldn’t” and then proceed to eat the whole thing. Your recipe looks great, and I’ve read all the notes from your readers who have tried it, so I feel I can do this!5 stars

  9. Patty Williams says

    Oh yum! I think we will add this to our Christmas baking list! Always live having a mix of cookies, candies and snack mixes!

  10. Michele S says

    So delicious! This was my first time with toffee so I was a bit nervous. I halved the recipe and followed the directions exactly, and it came out so well. The only improvement I’d do for next time is to pour it out onto the parchment faster, because I went slow and some of the butter started to separate out. I used fleur de sel as the sea salt because that’s what I had in my home. Great recipe!5 stars

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