December 17, 2009

Pecan Toffee

People tend to be scared by candy. It's not hard. You just have to be there. So maybe try this while your kids are napping.
This is a great recipe brought to you by my mom. She used to make these every Christmas. I have made them for the past few years - even sent it to my husband (who was just a friend then) in a care package 6 years ago. I think this is what won him over.
If you don't like Pecans, you could make this like my mom - with Almonds or any other nut. The harder the nut the better (the softer ones burn easier). Or, just leave the nuts out.

Pecan Toffee
1 lb butter
2 c sugar
5 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1 c chopped pecans
chocolate for dipping
about 1/4 c finely chopped pecans for topping

Melt butter in pan, add sugar and water. Cook on medium high heat until 312 degrees. Don't stir sides. Be patient, this takes time. Remove from heat, add vanilla and 1 cup chopped pecans. Immediately, pour onto buttered sheet-cake pan (or pan lined with parchment paper). Do not scrape bottom or sides of pan. Spread to desired thickness (about 1/4 inch thick). As it cools, core into 1" square pieces. When completely cooled, break along scored lines. Dip in chocolate. Place on waxed paper and top with remaining nuts.
For easier chocolate-ing, chocolate pieces may be place on hot toffee until melted.
Sarah's Note: The scraping of sides and bottom of pan is really just for those without non-stick pans. If you have a non-stick pan, it is okay, stuff doesn't stick or burn as easily.


Frieda Loves Bread said...

I'm a newbie to the candy making thing...I fear it like some people fear yeast. I'm afraid I'm gonna kill it! Toffee is something that I've always wanted to make, but I let the fear get the best of me. (I'm sure the typo means 'remove from heat'?) What size of sheet pan should I use? The large 11X17?
I really like how you've cut the toffee and covered the entire square in chocolate. Beautiful!

Sarah said...

Freida - The thing that is nice about toffee is it is one of the last temperatures - it is supposed to be hard. Unlike caramel, where you can go a little too far.
The sheet cake pan is the same as a jelly roll pan. Honestly, it doesn't matter which you use, it doesn't fill the whole pan.
Covering the chocolate completely is a little more messy, but I think it looks so much better :)

Maria said...

What a great holiday treat!

Miranda said...

okay, i'm really loving all of these candy recipes.

michelle said...

Thanks for this recipe! I made this today for my neighbor gifts and it was so easy. I think I waited too long to score the toffee, because it broke into unevenly-shaped shards, but it's still beautiful. I covered it in chocolate and rolled them in chopped almonds. Yum!