This is our absolute favorite time of year. It has turned cold, and we are happily whipping up all of our favorite holiday treats. Our kids certainly don’t complain, seeing as there is a never-ending amount of cookies, fudge, caramel, and toffee. There are not enough words to adequately describe how much we love toffee. With or without nuts and chocolate chips, it doesn’t even matter. We could eat this all day, every day, for the rest of our lives. While that may not be the best idea for a multitude of reasons, you’ll be hard pressed to convince us to put down the toffee these last few months of the year. We are going to savor every single bite, and share our love of toffee with everyone we know!
What is English Toffee?
Toffee has different names in different countries. In the United States, most toffee is known as English Toffee. Where it can get confusing however, is that traditional English Toffee does not contain any nuts, yet English Toffee in the United States can contain a variety of nuts. The moral of the story is to always check toffee labels to make sure you’re getting the toffee you want.
Nuts in Quick and Easy Toffee:
Nuts are entirely optional in this recipe, however we highly recommend them. Whether you roast them in the oven or use them raw, they are absolutely delicious and add an amazing crunch to your toffee. You can leave them whole or give them a rough chop.
There are set temperature stages in candy making to represent the texture of your finished product, depending on the type of candy you are making. Generally speaking, the lower the temperature, the softer it will be; the harder the temperature, the more firm and brittle. In this recipe, we are looking for our finished product to reach the hard crack stage of 290-300 degrees F.
Make sure you have your pan prepped and everything ready to go before you start making the toffee. Once your toffee reaches the appropriate temperature, you need to immediately remove it from the heat so it does not continue to cook and go past that hard crack stage.
What size saucepan should I use:
When toffee is cooking on the stove, it bubbles and grows tremendously. If you have a saucepan that looks like it is probably big enough for how much toffee you’re making, consider going up a size from that! There is nothing more stressful than realizing your saucepan is too small while it is starting to bubble up!
Caramel vs. Toffee vs. Butterscotch:
Caramel, toffee, and butterscotch are very similar, but they do have some key differences. Caramel and butterscotch have an addition of cream or milk, and call for different sugars. Both are heated to a lower temperature to make them softer or liquidy depending on how you’re using the finished product. Toffee is meant to be hard and brittle, so it is cooked to a higher temperature.