Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cocoa Nib Almond Buttercrunch Toffee

by Darla

Cocoa Nib Almond Buttercrunch Toffee by BakingdomYesterday, I had to deal with a worker person in my house. I’m very particular with worker people being in my house. It’s not worker people, in general, that I have a problem with…they are, in all the instances I’ve worked with them, hard working, honest, friendly, and kind. Usually, they tend to be a tad fatherly or grandfatherly.

But, you know, there tends to be the off chance that you’re welcoming a vampire or axe murderer into your home. You never know.

I still don’t actually invite them in. I mean, vampires can’t enter your home without an invite (creepy stalker Meyer vampires, notwithstanding), so if they can walk right in without an implicit invite, then at least I know I won’t be drained of all my blood.

Yesterday, I was certain that a vampire had descended upon our home at last.

It was a young man, dressed quite nicely. I suspected immediately that this was a Meyers breed of vampire (obviously they still prefer the Pacific Northwest), because he came right in, no invite necessary, and he was wearing skinny jeans and a blazer over a schmancy hooded sweater.

Who does manual labor dressed like that? The Edward Cullens of the world, that’s who.

Being the classy, smooth talker that I am, I blurted out, “You don’t look like a handy person.”

Truly, my awkwardness knows no bounds.

Well, he was all, “Yeah, I know.” Hm. In keeping with a Meyers vampire, he was arrogant.

But then he proved once and for all that he was no vampire.

He said, “I work with this one man, and he wears his pants, like, up to his chest. I could never dress like that. I mean, but, he’s, like, old, though, so I guess I get it. I mean, he’s, like, 40.”

*cricket, cricket*

And so, the elusive Meyers vampire remains a myth, thank goodness.

He actually called 40 old, though.

I needed comfort, and since that requires chocolate, I made buttercrunch toffee. Obviously.

Alright, so this toffee is very basic and easy to make. It’s just a matter of combining the ingredients, boiling them, and pouring the whole mixture into a parchment or Silpat mat lined pan. I like to warm my pan slightly in the oven, so that when I pour the hot candy in, it stays soft a little longer, allowing me to spread it evenly and easily.

Once the toffee is spread evenly, I add the chocolate on top by sprinkling chocolate chips on top, and allowing them to sit for five minutes.

After the five minutes have passed, the chocolate will be completely soft, and spreadable. Use a small offset spatula to cover the toffee completely with the chocolate.

I prefer to use semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate with my toffee, because the darker flavor compliments the sweet toffee perfectly.

Whike the chocolate is still soft, sprinkle two to four tablespoons some chocolate covered cocoa nibs over the candy.

the Hubster and I preferred slightly less cocoa nibs, while the kiddo like more.

Next, evenly distribute chopped almonds over the toffee. I prefer to to use finely chopped, roasted nuts; I love the look of the fine pieces of golden almonds, but I also think that they offer the best flavor and texture this way. Roasting them adds a nice crispness to the texture, and the almonds have a light and lovely toasty flavor.

Now all you have to do is wait…

…until the toffee is cooled, and the chocolate has hardened. Then, all you have to do is break the candy up into pieces. This is a very precise process. After each piece is broken, it’s essential that you taste test each small shard that falls away from the larger pieces. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Cocoa Nib Almond Butter Toffee by BakingdomI prefer a thinner toffee, because I don’t like super crunchy foods, but if you want a thicker toffee, just double the candy recipe. It’s your call as to whether you want to double the chocolate or not. But I mean…why wouldn’t you? After all, it’s chocolate.

Almond Buttercrunch Toffee by BakingdomPeople are so often afraid of candy making for fear it’s very difficult, or because it takes all day, but truly, this is simpler than simple. It’s truly just mix, boil, spread, and top with goodies. Plus, this took less than 30 minutes to make, from the very beginning (chopping almonds) to the very end (placing the pan in a cool place to set up).

Now, it’s fast and easy sure, but how is it?

Well, my boys ate the entire batch after dinner, so I’m thinking pretty dang good applies here.

Enjoy!

Cocoa Nib Almond Buttercrunch Toffee
Makes 1  9×13 pan

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons (about 1 ounce or 25 grams) chocolate covered cocoa nibs (or more, if desired)
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds, roasted (*directions below recipe)

Line a 9×13 pan or rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat mat; set aside.

In a small saucepan set over medium high heat, combine the butter, sugar, water, and salt. Stir until the butter is melted and the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches about 250 degrees (120 C) on a candy thermometer. Continue boiling, stirring gently (be sure to get in the corners of the pan), until the mixture reaches 298 degrees (about 150 C).

Remove the mixture from the heat and pour onto the 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. Spread the now soft chocolate over the top of the toffee using an offset spatula. Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle the cocoa nibs and chopped almonds evenly over the top of the candy.

Allow to cool and set completely before cutting or breaking into pieces and serving.

*To roast the almonds, preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Spread the finely chopped almonds even over a rimmed baking sheet, and toast in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant.

Recipe by Darla

Delish Almond Butter Toffee by Bakingdom

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sara January 10, 2013 at 10:08 am

This looks fantastic – I LOVE homemade toffee…so tasty. :)

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2 Tracy January 10, 2013 at 10:09 am

I just want to say…. you’re awesome!! I am a huge fan of your blog!

Tracy @ http://www.lifecupcakesandlife.com

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3 Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers January 10, 2013 at 10:18 am

I love toffee. Love. Love. L O V E.

Your boys had to go eat it all and not share though. Geez. Rude. LOL. :D

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4 Leticia January 10, 2013 at 10:37 am

A few questions… brown sugar is not in the ingredients lis, how quantity I need? And the degrees of the candy thermometer are F? ‘Cause this look so yummy, I need to make it!

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5 Darla January 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Hi Leticia, sorry about the brown sugar typo, it’s fixed now. And the temp is Fahrenheit. :)

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6 patti wissehr January 10, 2013 at 11:00 am

Hi…I noticed the brown sugar also :) how much is needed? Thank you for the yummy recipe!
Patti

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7 Darla January 10, 2013 at 12:24 pm

It was a typo. I had planned to use brown sugar, then decided against it. I’ve fixed it now. Thank you!!

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8 patti wissehr January 10, 2013 at 11:03 am

So where do you get cocoa nibs?

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9 Darla January 10, 2013 at 12:24 pm

I got mine at Whole Foods. And they were coated in dark chocolate…so even better!

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10 M.K. January 10, 2013 at 11:19 am

I’d also like to know about the brown sugar, I want to make this ASAP. :•)
I also like that you melt the chocolate chips on the toffee, less washing up + homemade candy = perfect recipe.

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11 Becca from Cookie Jar Treats January 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Every time I try and make candy it turns out terrible. I tried making marshmallows once; it turned into cement. I’ve also tried making honeycomb candy; it turned into burnt pumice rock. I tried making marshmallow frosting; that stuff was the most vile thing I’ve ever had. I like the thought of making candy, but I guess candy making is not my forte. So I will just look at the pretty pictures here and just pretend. :*

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12 Darla January 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Well, if you ever change your mind, and give this a try…let me know how it works out for you? Please, please? :)

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13 Monica January 10, 2013 at 6:47 pm

That’s a great tip about warming the pan first! I made toffee for the second time this past Christmas and the toffee was cooling too fast this time and I ended up with an uneven layer. Luckily, it isn’t very noticeable once the chocolate and toppings were added but this is a tip I’ll put to use next time around. Thank you!

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14 Aikko @ Bake Happy January 10, 2013 at 9:10 pm

And because of this (and because I want to make macarons soon), I think I want.. no scratch that… I need a Silpat Mat :)

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15 Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet January 11, 2013 at 8:12 am

I love butter toffee! Need to get my hands on cocoa nibs though… This sounds fabulous!

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16 Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) January 11, 2013 at 9:21 am

Yum, you definitely had me at butter toffee. Toffee is just such a magical flavor in every possible way!

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17 T January 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm

This is a wonderful recipe, and I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the tip about warming the pan. I also don’t like thick toffee – it’s much too hard – but spreading the toffee thinly has always been a challenge. I also think that thin toffee is not only more delicious and easier to bite, but is less likely to “sugar”.

One of the great things about your recipes is that you describe the actual steps you take, rather than defaulting to a traditional set of steps that may not actually be all that useful, but that you see in almost every cookbook. I amaze my friends and neighbors with my caramel desserts, now that your blog allowed me to master unscorched caramel!

Even though your devil’s food cookies are my all time favorite recipe, but I don’t share those.

T

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18 Andrea R January 11, 2013 at 7:06 pm

I’ve never had cocoa nibs. I love to make toffee though! I’ll have to check out nibs to see how they are!

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19 cdnbakingfairy January 11, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I make a similar recipe but I love the idea of using coca nibs and ground nuts on top. Great photos, too. I am a new blogger and would welcome your photography tips. Happy Baking!

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20 leslie January 14, 2013 at 5:32 am

FORTY IS OLD???? Sigh. I guess I am almost old.

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21 lyndsay January 14, 2013 at 2:21 pm

haha… we just had our roof done and there was like 12 guys swarming the whole house. i felt like i was in lord of the rings under siege by orcs and got into mega protective mode of my little baby boy! totally unreasonable… but the next day i brought out a bowl of halloween candy for them. ha…

THIS CANDY LOOKS AWESOME! dangerous too since i’m trying to eat better post-holidays. yeahhhh right. so hard.

thanks for sharing! ^__^

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22 Natalie January 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm

YUM! This looks super good!

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23 Stephanie January 14, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Oh man this looks great!!

I used to hate having workers in the house too! It wasn’t until this most recent batch of renos that I was actually happy to have them there.. it meant that I didn’t have to do that reno myself.

The ones I hate the most though are the cable or phone guys because of an incident during university. I lived alone and had a guy come and install my tv, internet, and landline. The next day someone buzzed when I was about to get into the shower and said that it was the tv guy again and that he wanted to come up and make sure everything was working. I told him he couldn’t and that I had people over.. lots of people (a lie, I was alone). Then I called the company and they said that they hadn’t sent anyone over. AHHHH. so creepy. I forced friends to always be over after that whenever I moved and needed new internet.

On a happier note: that is my very favorite kind of toffee.. I can eat a mountain of it

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24 Wendy January 16, 2013 at 7:16 am

Thank you!!! I love to add Heath bar pieces (my son’s favorite) to my baking but I am allergic to tree nuts. I was planning on searching for a way to make a chocolate coated toffee myself, when you read my mind and posted this recipe. I will leave out the almonds and have exactly what I needed. Add this to my file of Bakingdom favorites :)

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25 Lior January 25, 2013 at 8:54 am

yuuummmmmm………
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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