Thursday, December 11, 2008

English Toffee and a gift from Organica

First of all, I was SO excited to get home from work today to find a turquoise box that had arrived from Organica Deluxe with some cookies for me to sample.
I was so excited that I automatically ripped open the package and took a bite before I could even take a picture of it. I didn't need to read what kind of cookie it was either because as soon as I opened the box I could smell the sweet ginger. These cookies were amazing. Every ingredient down to the molasses is organic which makes it seem healthy too! These babies were so soft and almost melted in your mouth. Organica does some fun gifts and they have more than just food too (their baby blankets are adorable!) so check out their website to find a yummy and unique gift for friends and family this holiday season! They are even offering free shipping until Dec 15 so hurry and order!
Thank to the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program for introducing me to this awesome company!

Now on to my world famous English toffee. Well, let's be honest. It's not world famous yet and it's not "mine" either. My mom has been making this recipe every year for as long as I can remember and our family and friends always look forward to it. Every year I try to make it and once in awhile I get a batch that can compare to hers. This was one of those batches.
It was perfectly crunchy instead of chewy or crumbly. The butter didn't separate from the rest of it and it didn't burn. I have had many other outcomes from trying to make toffee as well.

Here's the recipe:

2 C sugar
1 C water
1 lb butter (4 cubes)
4 large chocolate Hershey's bars
almonds (optional)

Heat sugar and water in a heavy saucepan on high heat until it boils and reaches the thread stage on your candy thermometer. Do not even stir it during this stage. Just let it do it's thing. While it's getting there, get a cookie sheet with raised edges ready by rubbing the entire thing with butter to grease it up. Get a bowl of ice water close by to test your candy, and fill a near by bathtub with a few inches of cold water. Strange, I know. You might want to get a cold drink and short sleeves on too because it gets really hot standing there stirring.

Once it gets to the thread stage, add the 4 cubes of butter (don't think about it, just do it!) one at a time, stirring constantly in a figure 8 motion with a wooden spoon until each cube is completely melted before adding another. You don't want the temperature to get low while doing this part. Stir constantly until it reaches the hard crack stage, or 300 degrees, on your thermometer. Drop some candy into the bowl of ice water and bite into it when cool to make sure you get the right crack from your toffee.

When it's gotten to where you like it, pour the candy into your prepared cookie sheet and using hot pads, shake the cookie sheet to spread the candy as you walk to the bathtub. Don't forget to shake as you go. (that is a little joke for my mom. She would tell us that as we followed her to the bathroom every time she makes it.) Put the cookie pan in the bathtub to float on top of the water. Let sit for about 10 minutes until completely cooled and removed from bathtub. Honestly, that whole bathtub step is probably not totally necessary, but that is how my mom has always done it and her toffee always comes out perfect!

Loosen the toffee from the pan so you can pick it up all in once piece. Frost one side with 2 melted Hershey's bars and frost the other with the remaining 2 when the first side has hardened. My mom likes to add whole almonds to the candy before it hardens and then crushed almonds on top of the chocolate, but I'm a no nut kind of girl, so I leave that out. It's an option for you though.

Good luck!


Karen said...

It's been a long time since I've made this. We used to lay the Hershey bars on top of the hot caramel so it would melt. I love your Mom's bathtub routine with this recipe :)

Kellie said...

Seriously, I want to lick my screen :) haha, when I have more energy I am so trying these!

Ingrid said...

LOL! That's hilarious you telling us "Good Luck"! I didn't know until just a month or two ago that I even liked toffee. I had been missing out.

What makes it "English"?

Snooky doodle said...

yummy all these treats look great.

Lisa said...

I love toffee and th cookies look great.

avesta said...

I am so jel of your cookies and toffee is way up there on the list of my favorite things to eat! YUM!

Amber said...

I was a lucky one who got to try some of this delicious toffee. It is by far the best toffee that I have ever had. I took it on our 4 hour drive and the last hour was the longest because I had ran out of toffee! Yes I ate the whole bag by myself. I asked Adam if he wanted a nibble and he said "no". I think he knew that deep down inside, I didn't want to share, I was just being nice. I think I will try a batch of these someday when I am feeling confident!

Damon & Ora said...

MMMMM! I loved these when you gave me some at Christmastime!