Irish Coffee Toffee

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Well, almost. Happy early St. Patrick’s Day! We don’t usually have big St. Pat’s celebrations at my house. Usually, the day amounts to each of us making sure that we’re sporting a bit of green, me baking something “Irish-ish” (typically always soda bread), and as much pinching as we can get in (completely disregarding the wearing o’ the green, in most cases).

This year will be especially quiet on the home front because the hubster is away, in the States, for training. I imagine he’ll try to have a green beer or two up there to celebrate, and I’m still making some yummy treats down here for the kiddo and myself, but it’ll be mostly just another day for us. Although, were he here, I’m not sure things would be so very different…we’re just awfully laid back. No, no…I didn’t say lazy. I said laid back. ;)

One of my favorite St. Patrick’s Days, though, was one of the few times that we did go out to celebrate. We were still in Maine at the time, and we went into Portland for some drinks. There are a couple of Irish pubs in downtown Portland, but they were jam-packed, so we made our way down this narrow little side alley, following the prompting of a small chalk board sitting out on the sidewalk of a main street. We emerged to see a small crowd of people standing around on a terrace above a hidden little beer bar called Novare Res. It was the perfect place to spend the holiday for us. We sat at the bar, sampling beers and hard ciders, talking, and laughing with fellow patrons. If you’re ever in the Portland (Maine) area, I highly recommend a little detour into Novare Res. They have many, many beers in all varieties to sample and enjoy, and it’s a fun, laid back atmosphere.

Anyway, though, you’re here for treats, right? And have I got one for you…I decided to take an Irish classic and reinvent it. Irish coffee is coffee with whiskey and sugar, topped with cream. My twist has the coffee, whiskey, and sugar, but also the addition of chocolate and mint…all wrapped up in toffee! Say hello to Irish coffee toffee…

No, really…lucky you.

For this candy you’ll need unsalted butter (margarine for vegan/dairy-free), brown sugar, Irish whiskey (optional), molasses, semi-sweet chocolate chips (be sure to buy vegan chips for vegan/dairy-free recipe), sugar, finely ground espresso, and salt. You’ll also need about half a cup of Andes mints, chopped coarsely. A fantastic substitute for the Andes mints, if you don’t want mint, or need a completely dairy-free recipe, is finely chopped hazelnuts (YUM). Andes mints also come in a baking chips version, which is actually what I used to make this, but chopping the whole candies is the same thing, just a little more work.

In a small saucepan set over medium high heat, combine the butter, sugar, brown sugar, molasses, whiskey, espresso, and salt. Stir until the butter is melted and the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches about 250 degrees on a candy thermometer. Continue boiling, stirring constantly (be sure to get in the corners of the pan), until the mixture reaches 300 degrees.

Remove the mixture from the heat and pour onto a pan lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. I only have 11- by 16-inch pans, so I only used half the pan for my candy. You can double it and fill the sheet, or use a smaller pan. If necessary, use an offset or heatproof spatula to spread the candy evenly. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the hot toffee and allow to sit for 5 minutes, then spread the now soft chocolate over the top of the toffee. Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle the chopped Andes mints evenly over the top of the candy. Allow to cool completely before cutting or breaking into pieces.

I didn’t really anticipate liking this candy. After all, I’m not a coffee drinker, and I’m not a toffee fan. Of course I won’t like it, right? Wrong. I love this stuff. Seriously love it. I love it more than the hubster does, and he’s crazy about toffee. It has a fantastic toffee flavor and a good punch of coffee, but it’s the chocolate and mint that make it for me. It’s just wonderful!

I’m not a big fan of super crunchy treats, so I like to make some of this on the thin side. I get to enjoy the thinner, crispy pieces while everyone else has the pieces with thicker, crunchier toffee…and everybody is happy.

I loved this candy so much that I’ve been brainstorming ideas of what I can do with it and other kinds of toffee flavors I may like. You’re going to die when you see what I came up with! That’s another post, though. Today, take the time to go make this. It’s a speedy treat, and it’s irresistible. Enjoy!

Irish Coffee Toffee
Makes 1 9×13 sheet of candy
Ingredients

*If you want to make this vegan be sure to buy vegan sugars and chocolate chips.

1/2 cup (1stick) unsalted butter (margarine for vegan)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon Irish whiskey (optional)
2 teaspoons finely ground espresso
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 to 1 cup chopped Andes mints (I used about 1/2 cup) or 1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts (roasted)

In a small saucepan set over medium high heat, combine the butter, sugar, brown sugar, molasses, whiskey, espresso, and salt. Stir until the butter is melted and the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches about 250 degrees on a candy thermometer. Continue boiling, stirring constantly (be sure to get in the corners of the pan), until the mixture reaches 300 degrees. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour onto a pan lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat. If necessary, use an offset or heatproof spatula to spread the candy evenly. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the hot toffee and allow to sit for 5 minutes, then spread the now soft chocolate over the top of the toffee. Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle the chopped Andes mints (or hazelnuts) evenly over the top of the candy. Allow to cool completely before cutting or breaking into pieces.

Recipe and “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” banner by Darla, “Lucky You” tag from The TomKat Studio

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Comments

  1. says

    oh hello hello! This looks great! Does anyone have an idea of what Aussies could substitute Andes Mints for?
    Or could you please give me a better idea of what they actually are so I can try something similar? :D
    Yummo!

    • says

      Hi Rita, I linked Andes mints in the post to try and help you out a bit. They are a chocolate mint candy, usually a semi-sweet type chocolate with a green mint layer in them. I’m not sure what you may have in Australia that’s similar, but some other candies that I know of around my neck of the woods that could work too are York Peppermint Patties or Junior Mints. They’ll give the same flavor, but the texture will be different since they both have a soft filling and Andes mints are solid. I hope this helps a little bit! Sounds like I need to come spend some time in Australia…purely for research purposes, of course! ;)

      • says

        Hahaha yes that would be good! It’s confusing sometimes, because the local sweets are totally different to ones from overseas. Australian lollies seem to be a little sweeter or there’s something different. Definitely worth a research trip! I might even try the local lolly bar, they have a lot of imported sweets there, so they might have the andes mints. I’m so gonna make this!

  2. Amanda Lynn says

    I tried out the recipe with a few variations and it turned out awesome! I didn’t have molasses or whiskey so I used maple syrup and brandy. Thanks for posting the recipe! I had no clue it could be this easy :)

  3. Janina says

    I made this today and it looks perfect. I used mint chocolate and hazelnuts. Thank you for this recipe, it’s awesome.
    Greetings from Germany (:

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