This recipe is part of The Proper Pinwheel’s holiday series, Mission: Merry 2012.
Toffee. Toffee. Toffee. I make you every December. And every December, you make people fall in love with me. Even strangers on the street want some of this. (The toffee, you sicko!) This is by far my most prized and cherished recipe. I’ve kept it secret for all these years, but if I want you to like me, I’m going to have to give this up. This is the easiest and most delicious thick toffee you will ever make. I don’t even use a candy thermometer! I know! I’m like Martha Stewart! 😉
I had the most darling wooden fruit baskets from Garnish and they were perfect to package this toffee up! They’re big enough to hold toffee for two, but small enough that you don’t overdo it. It’s all about portion control, people. That’s why I only order kid’s meals at McDonald’s…
Cute baskets, right? Add in some stamped tissue paper and velvet ribbon, and you’re on your way to being the toffee-making, velvet-wrapping, treat-queen of the year. Are you sick of these one-liners? You’re ready for the recipe, aren’t you?
I’ve stalled long enough.
To make your own toffee you’ll need:
- 7-8 large hershey’s chocolate bars
- 4 sticks of butter (totaling 2 cups)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. finely crushed cashews
- 1/2 c. coarsely chopped cashews
** A note about this toffee – I do not use a candy thermometer. Never have. I know. I’m crazy. When it first starts to boil, it’s a light yellow color. After several minutes of boiling (anywhere from 7-18 minutes based on your elevation), it will start to smoke and turn a more golden amber color. That’s when it’s ready to remove from heat and pour! My sister lives at a higher elevation and has better luck with margarine instead of butter. Feel free to make that switch! I’ve made the recipe both ways and it’s always yummy! Okay, time to get crackin’.
On a large cookie sheet, sprinkle 1/2 c. of the finely crushed cashews and lay the chocolate bars evenly on top. Place the cookie sheet in the oven at 200 degrees F and let the chocolate melt. Once the bars have melted, remove cookie sheet from oven. In a large sauce pan or stock pot, combine butter, sugar, and vanilla. Bring to a boil and watch like a hawk. Stir slowly and constantly. Toffee will be ready to pour when the color starts to change to a darker brown. This takes about 12 minutes. Once the toffee color changes, add 1/2 c. coarsely chopped cashews and mix well. The toffee mixture should start to smoke and continue to darken. Immediately spread over chocolate bars and sprinkle with remaining cashews. Let set for a few hours. You can speed up the process in the freezer if you are impatient like me. 🙂
Once ready, use a sharp knife to break off jagged pieces. Toffee is thick so be careful when cutting!
Devour. Wrap for friends and win the “neighbor of the year” award.
styling & photography: PROPER
I failed 3 batches of the toffee. Mine never reached the golden color even after cooking to 305 on a candy thermometer. The texture of the caramel is “gritty” any advice?
Hi Teri! My mom seems to occasionally have the same problem! I rarely rely on a candy thermometer either this recipe as I just trust my gut when it turns to that golden amber color. I would suggest switching out the butter for margarine and trying again! Margarine has a higher burn temp and is much more forgiving with recipes like this. And it tastes just as amazing! 🙂
Pat S. says
I just discovered your page and I absolutely love it! Can’t get off the site let alone make anything, happy Holidays!
How much exactly is 4 sticks of butter? 400 grams? Isn’t it too much? I tried with 100 grams (one stick according with the internet) and it didn’t work, it became hard caramel, but the taste was horrible (like plastic), and the pan had a lot of melted butter that didn’t incorporate with the sugar.
Oh shoot! So 4 sticks is usually two cups! I am awful with conversions and don’t know many grams that translates to? So you need WAY more butter! Let me know if you’re still getting less-than-desirable toffee and we’ll keep troubleshooting! 🙂