Sunday, December 30, 2012

English Toffee

In my holiday blog slump, I am realizing that I have not posted about the dessert that I made for our Christmas party!  But first, some background information:

I am lactose intolerant, and yet I worked at an ice cream slash video rental store for 7 years.  They were 7 glorious years - for the most part. I was there through three different owners (including a psycho and a sweet little nugget), a power outage in which we saved as much ice cream as my family could fit in our basement freezer, and the awkward changeover from VHS to DVD.  One of the things people always asked me was, do you eat a ton of ice cream?!  And the answer is, of course, no.  My lactose intolerance made ice cream less tempting than it did for, say, Kenzie, who was once questioned on her over-intake of ice cream and peanut butter sauce ;)  But one thing I was interested in was toppings.  Gummy bears, cherries, Reece's Pieces... but above all, Heath Bars.  I  may or may not have eaten most of the Heath Bar topping that was purchased throughout those 7 years, and perhaps occasionally I scooped out the larger Heath pieces from coffee heath bar crunch frozen yogurt.  Probably not good business, but delicious candy.  English toffee has always had a special place in my heart!  Soooo, when my good friend Laura posted on Facebook that she was making her aunt Kathleen's English toffee recipe, I knew immediately I had to give it a shot.  I always bring some sort of candy to Christmas Eve; it always used to be fudge (which I hated making), then last year it was my apple cider caramels, but I was excited to try these; plus they don't take 3 hours like the caramels.  It took more like 30 minutes!

Any recipe that starts off with a pound of butter is bound to be delicious.  And any recipe that only has 3 steps is also a plus!  I did get nervous that the candy was going to stick, so I coated the pan with cooking spray, and once it had hardened, all I had to do was bend the pan a little and it started cracking and coming out easily.  Once it came out, it was hard not to eat it all myself.  The toffee, topped with chocolate and walnuts, is literally perfection.  If you're looking for a quick, delicious, easy candy, go with Aunt Kathleen's English toffee :)  Thanks for the recipe, LG!

English Toffee
from Laura's Aunt Kathleen

1 lb. butter (or 4 sticks)
6 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Hershey's chocolate bars (3-4) broken into squares
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1) Heat butter, sugar and water in a saucepan to 310 degrees while stirring constantly. Add vanilla.

2) Pour into a cookie sheet with sides. Place chocolate pieces on top. Spread with a spatula when the chocolate is soft.

3) Top with walnuts. Press into candy with spatula. Cool and break into pieces.

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