Oh dear Chitlins, even in the New Year I’m sucking at this holiday post thing! I’m so sorry, I was just so thrilled to have the day off yesterday (what a surprise!) that I spent all day doing nothing (well, except running 6 miles for that pesky half-marathon in March). Otherwise, The BF and I had a lovely and relaxing New Years weekend in Vermont, despite the whole no snow issue.
So did anyone else make those dreadful New Years Resolutions? I did, but I think it’s a totally achievable goal: complete 3 half-marathons. I’m all signed up for two Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathons, the first on is on St. Patty’s Day in DC. I’m running to support the American Cancer Society and if you’d love to start your New Year off right make a donation to my run. 🙂 Peas and thanks to you!
Anyway, despite all the goodies I made for the holidays, I only photographed a few of them and many of the things I made I didn’t even have time to experiment with (although that will hopefully change this evening). So what you have here is some delicious, delicious English toffee that I made for The BF’s parents as part of their Christmas snowman tin of goodies.
This is another one of those recipes that was floating around Pinterest and let me tell you, it is addictively tasty. I had figured it would be really sweet (which surprisingly it isn’t) so I had only reserved the the snowman’s hat part of the tin for the treats before I realized that would not be nearly enough, so I packed another tupperware container full of the stuff to bring up to Vermont.
Good thing I did, because with 8 people in the house, that stuff flew like hotcakes. The BF’s mom even tried to save a little stash for herself but I sadly gave her away in attempting to be generous (sorry!) and now I think I owe her at least this recipe if not another package full of tasty toffee.
So I say whip up a batch of this toffee to help cheer you up, if you too are anxiously anticipating snow for the slopes (which appears to never be coming) since it only takes a total of 20 minutes to make (though several hours to cool) and about 3.2 nanoseconds to consume.
In the meantime, enjoy some of photos I took with my fancy new camera that I got for Christmas (Thanks Mom and Dad!). I’m still getting the hang of it, it’s a Cannon G12 super fancy point and shoot, but you can get an attachment that lets you convert the lens it comes with so you can attach fancier lenses. I’ll get around to it. I’m still learning how to use this fancy thing since it’s obviously nothing like my iPhone, so bear with me folks.
Happy New Year!
*Just a Note: Just like last time, DO NOT attempt to make this on a rainy day, it will take ages for your caramel to caramelize (turn amber) and dry out and the chocolate on top will not totally set. I suppose to offset this you could try using candy melts on top since they are a little more reliable in setting properly.
English Pecan Toffee
Adapted ever so slightly from Red Couch Recipes (as is always the case, this is a family recipe passed down through generations so you know it’s a goodie, which also explains why I didn’t want to change it too much)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut in chunks
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp water
1 cup pecans, in pieces and toasted
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate but I have a feeling that good quality dark chocolate would be just as tasty, I would avoid semi-sweet though)
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8in pan with parchment paper.
Spread the pecans evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove and let cool completely. Once cooled scatter evenly across the bottom of the pan. Try to keep the nuts in a singly layer, if it’s too thick across the bottom the toffee layer won’t hold them together and your nuts will crumble off the bottom of your toffee. This is a case where more is not necessarily better.
In a medium sized heavy bottomed sauce pan (I used my dutch oven) melt together the butter, sugar and water on medium high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Your mixture should appear bubbly and thick through out this process.
Keep stirring until your mixture turns an amber color, starts to pull away from the sides of your pot, is smoking and appears drier than when you started. On a rainy day this took me well over 20 minutes, however with ideal conditions it should take anywhere between 7-15 minutes depending on the type of stove you have (gas or electric).
Immediately remove the mixture from the heat and pour over the nuts in the pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula to make sure it is evenly coated and reaches all corners of the pan. Let cool for about 8-10 minutes.
After the mixture has cooled slightly scatter the chocolate chips evenly across the top and let melt slightly, it won’t take long. Carefully spread the melted chocolate chips over the top in an even layer to the entire top has a coat of chocolate. Let cool on a wire rack for several hours (I suggest overnight if you can wait that long).
This stuff keeps forever, I’ve had mine for a week now and it’s still good.