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dark-chocolate-pecan-toffee

Sweets

Dark Chocolate Pecan Toffee

November 28, 2018

This post is sponsored by ThermoWorks. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for continuing […]

dark-chocolate-pecan-toffee

This post is sponsored by ThermoWorks. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that help to make Browned Butter Blondie possible. 

If you know a thing or two about my life before the blog, you know that I built a small batch toffee business from the ground up based on a secret family recipe. I was the toffee maker, bookkeeper, salesperson, dishwasher, delivery driver, head of production and master of marketing for most of those years. Talk about jack of all trades. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. As the business grew, I became very aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a sole proprietor and learned to delegate the tasks that were not in my wheel-house. Eventually, I was no longer making the toffee on a daily basis as my time was better spent selling the crunchy confection to chocolate and nut lovers across the country. After so many hours on my feet stirring {and stirring} the pot of liquid gold, the art of making toffee is akin to riding a bike. You just never forget. I literally could make toffee in my sleep. Not kidding.

dark-chocolate-pecan-toffee

Since hanging up my hat as “the toffee lady”, the question I am asked the most is “do you still love toffee and do you make it all the time?”. Well, yes. A-n-d, no. Truth be told, I think I must have butter and sugar running through my veins at this point and toffee will forever be my ride or die. It’s seriously the best sweet tooth fix a girl could ask for. That salty sweet combo is hard to beat. But I don’t make it very often since selling the biz, mostly because it’s time consuming and partly because I can’t be alone in a room with the stuff. It’s just that good.

dark-chocolate-pecan-toffee

So good in fact that I still make pounds and pounds of the delectable confection every Christmastime to share with friends and family. For me, toffee is a tradition meant to be shared and what better time to do that than at the holidays. Good thing for winter’s stretchy pants and chunky sweaters to help make way for lots of toffee indulgence. ‘Tis the season as they say! Since I’m no longer making toffee with the help of an industrial twenty five pound batch kettle cooker, I have to make it the old fashioned way. Just like grandma did back in the day. Lots of stirring and a little baby-sitting of the pot will go a long way towards producing a perfect batch of toffee. But just like with any candy, temperature is critical and there is a fine line between perfect and burnt. Just one batch of scorched toffee will put the bah-humbug in your holiday and we can’t have that, can we.

I’ve got just the thing to make your toffee good as gold batch after batch. The good people over at ThermoWorks have created the most accurate and sensitive high speed thermometer which makes candy making, and all kinds of baking for that matter, a total breeze. The Thermapen Mk4 reads internal temperatures in just 2-3 seconds!! That’s crazy fast! And its lightweight and high tech design make it a must-have for any home cook. I just keep my Thermapen handy near the stovetop while stirring my pot of toffee so I can easily spot check the batch as it cooks. It’s so easy to use and I wouldn’t make a batch of this Dark Chocolate Pecan Toffee without it.

dark-chocolate-pecan-toffee

If you were ever nervous about making candy because you thought it was too complicated or required too much equipment, you won’t think twice about it with this tiny and mighty thermometer by your side. You’ll want to keep this secret weapon in your back pocket at all times in the kitchen. Not only will it turn you into a pro-toffee-maker, but it can help temper chocolate and bake bread. And when you’re all done with it for the day, hand it over to your guy to check the temps on his meat outside on the grill. You gotta love a gadget that makes everyone’s life easier in the kitchen, amiright?

dark-chocolate-pecan-toffee

Ok, so now that you’ve got your handy dandy candy thermometer all figured out, making this Dark Chocolate Pecan Toffee is a cinch! Let’s start with dissolving the sugar into the melted butter along with the salt and vanilla in a large, wide pot. The mixture will remain light in color and it will thicken as it cooks. Be sure to stir often during this stage and keep the heat steady on medium-low so as not to scorch the bottom of the batch. Once the butter and sugar mixture reaches 250 degrees, also known as the “firm-ball” stage, you”ll test the temperature with your Thermapen to be sure the batch is at the proper temperature. Now is the time to add in the slivered almonds and continue to cook the toffee over low heat. Prepare to get your arm workout in for the day since you’ll be stirring constantly for the next 15 or so minutes. It’s worth it, trust me. Once the batch takes on a richer, caramel color you’ll want to be on the lookout for tiny little puffs of smoke that pop up in the concoction like little mini volcanos. Keep on stirring {you’ll thank me later, promise} a minute or two longer before quickly removing the pot from the heat and quickly adding in the baking soda. Don’t skip this step, it will likely be the very thing that keeps you from breaking a tooth on a piece of rock hard toffee which ends with you in a dentist’s chair. The baking soda adds just a bit of “fluff” if you will to the toffee, giving it a lighter, airy texture so it doesn’t turn into jaw breaker. Your taste buds will never know it’s there, pinky swear.

dark-chocolate-pecan-toffee

Once your toffee is spread out, sprinkle with semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate and give it a moment to melt a bit on the hot toffee. This could very well be the longest few minutes of your life. But like I said earlier, it’s worth the wait. Using an offset spatula, smooth the melted chocolate over the toffee and then dust generously with crushed pecans. You can let the toffee set on the countertop or expedite the process {I always choose the later} by sliding the cookie sheets in the fridge for thirty minutes or so. I know, I know. MORE waiting! You’re almost there. Once chilled, half the fun is breaking the toffee apart with your hands into random little, or not so little, pieces. No two pieces are alike. After all that stirring, sharing is optional of course, but highly encouraged {wink, wink}.

dark-chocolate-pecan-toffee

Once you have your first batch of toffee under your belt, have some fun in the kitchen playing with different flavor combinations. I love adding chopped walnuts or pistachios on top of dark chocolate toffee. Or give white chocolate covered toffee a try with a dusting of macadamia nuts for a tropical variation. Let me know what your favorite toffee flavor is in the comments below and if you make a batch using my recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag @brownedbutterblondie on Instagram. I love seeing what you’re up to in your kitchens. Meet me back here next week for another holiday favorite. In the meantime, follow along on Instagram and be sure to catch all of my recipe details over on my Pinterest page.

Happy Baking!

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dark-chocolate-pecan-toffee

Dark Chocolate Pecan Toffee

  • Author: Browned Butter Blondie
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Description

A buttery, caramel toffee studded with slivered almonds and topped with rich, dark chocolate and dusted with chopped pecans. This classic toffee makes an irresistible holiday gift or just a sweet indulgence for yourself.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (I use Baker’s ultra fine sugar)
  • 1 3/4 cups unsalted butter (3 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups slivered almonds
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Set two baking sheets upside down on countertop.
  2. Grease lightly with butter if you like (optional).
  3. In a large wide pot over medium-low heat, melt together butter, sugar, vanilla and salt.
  4. Stir often with a wood spoon.
  5. Simmer mixture which will begin to thicken as it cooks.
  6. Toffee will reach the “firm-ball” stage around 250 degrees. Test temperature with candy thermometer ( I use the ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4). As a second test, add a drop of the toffee mixture to a glass of water and if the drop holds it’s form and does not pancake/flatten out, then the toffee is at the correct temperature to add the almonds.
  7. Add the almonds and turn heat down to low.
  8. Stir constantly.
  9. Mixture will continue to thicken and become a richer, caramel color over the next 15-20 minutes.
  10. Be sure to continue stirring frequently.
  11. Cook toffee until it reaches 295 degrees.
  12. Test again with a candy thermometer.
  13. Remove from heat quickly and stir in baking soda thoroughly.
  14. Being careful not to touch the scalding hot pot or toffee, pour toffee onto the back side of two baking sheets.
  15. Using the wooden spoon or a heat resistant spatula, spread the toffee out until it is about 1/2 inch thick.
  16. Immediately add chopped chocolate to the top of the hot toffee.
  17. Allow it to melt slightly, 3-4 minutes.
  18. Using a knife or off set spatula, spread the melted chocolate across the top of the toffee.
  19. Dust with chopped pecans.
  20. Cool on countertop or put baking sheets in refrigerator for 30 minutes until set.
  21. Break toffee apart with hands or using a spatula.

Notes

Toffee can be stored tightly wrapped in a cool, dry place for two weeks.
Refrigerating is recommended.

 

  • Reply
    Carrie
    December 8, 2022 at 3:15 pm

    Can’t wait to make this! Did you use dark chocolate chips in the photos above? Thx!

  • Reply
    Alexis Constantinides
    December 8, 2021 at 7:07 am

    I have been making this recipe at Christmas for the last 3 years and it is THE BOMB. It is for sure a crowd pleaser, I get so many compliments and people asking me for the recipe. This has earned a permanent spot in my holiday baking lineup. I cannot wait to try more of your recipes!!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      December 9, 2021 at 3:28 am

      This makes me so happy! Toffee is a holiday tradition in our house too and I’m so thrilled that you have made it part of your family’s Christmas too!!

  • Reply
    Denizatm
    April 30, 2020 at 9:15 am

    I made these into regular cookies because that is what I prefer shape wise and they are THE BEST. Thanks so much for this amazing recipe.

  • Reply
    Stanley Harlan
    January 12, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    Baking soda , sugar type, almonds are a great benefit to increase my toffee making to a wonderous new level. Thank u so much for getting me on the right track for perfect toffee. Will be able to stun coworkers with amazingly wonderful toffee.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      January 14, 2020 at 12:44 am

      I’m so happy you found this post helpful. I’m sure everyone will love it! Enjoy!!

  • Reply
    Ana Paola
    December 4, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    Hi, i was wondering how many pieces of toffee more less come out from this recipe?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      December 5, 2019 at 8:26 am

      Hi! It all depends on what size you break the pieces into. It’s totally up to you.

  • Reply
    Alexis Montrone
    December 1, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Can this be doubled? Thank you!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      December 5, 2019 at 2:18 am

      Yes! You can double it, but be very careful when pouring it on to the pans. It will be a lot of very hot toffee. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Emily
    October 17, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    My toffee separated

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      October 18, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      Hi Emily,
      Unfortunately that happens. Be sure to stir constantly once you get near the soft crack stage or the butter can separate. It’s also important not to heat the batch too quickly so check your stovetop settings. Are you using a candy thermometer? Hope you’ll give it another go…let me know how it turns out.

  • Reply
    Cristy Jenkins
    October 2, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Hi Heather, I stumbled upon this post when I searched your name hoping you might have started another toffee company. I want you to know we received so many compliments when we gave it as our corporate holiday gift. Your product cannot be replaced!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      October 16, 2019 at 5:27 am

      Hi Cristy! So good to hear from you!! I love that you found me here in my new little corner of the internet. No new toffee company but I’m keeping plenty busy with the blog. Thanks so much for following along and I hope all is well!

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    December 16, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Hi Heather!

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! I adore toffee and actually tried a different recipe I found online before yours—it was a disaster! Your step by step guide is perfection and resulted in the most amazing toffee! It was a huge hit with my boyfriend’s family during our holiday baking day. I only wish I could share a photo! Your recipe will be the only one I turn to from now on. Thanks so much and Happy Holidays!!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      January 7, 2019 at 6:28 pm

      Thank you so much Tiffany. That makes me so happy that you enjoyed making toffee with your family this holiday season! I hope you continue the tradition for years to come. Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    Hannah
    December 11, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    COuld the almonds be omitted or substituted without issue? Or do they contribute to the richness and color?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      December 13, 2018 at 3:55 am

      Hi Hannah, the almonds could be omitted but the toffee may not hold together as nicely as the almonds help to give it some structure. Let me know how it works out if you give it a try!

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