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This classic Toffee Recipe is the perfect homemade treat. With crunchy pecans and chocolate, it’s simply delicious!
If you love this classic Homemade Toffee, you’ll definitely want to try Pretzel Toffee and Christmas Crack (aka Saltine Cracker Toffee)! They are all great candy recipes to give out during the holidays.
Let’s Talk Toffee
Toffee is a hard candy usually made by boiling together sugar and butter. It is often topped with chocolate. It’s a popular recipe to make for holidays and is one we love to gift too!
English toffee is typically made with brown sugar or molasses. American toffee (also called buttercrunch) typically uses white sugar and is topped with different types of chopped nuts. Even though there are differences, in the US, any type of toffee is often referred to as English toffee.
Have you ever made homemade Toffee? I always like to make a big batch over the holidays (we even have a Pretzel Toffee we love to make too!)
It’s perfect for entertaining, wrapping presents, or gifting to neighbors and friends. And no one can resist a piece of sweet, buttery, crunchy toffee.
How to Make Toffee
This Toffee Recipe is actually very easy. There are only a few ingredients, and it’s pretty straightforward. However, because the toffee mixture gets very hot you need to be careful.
BOIL. To get started, melt together butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and a little salt. After everything is melted together, bring it to a boil while whisking constantly.
Boil the mixture for 10-15 minutes until it reaches 290°F on your candy thermometer – which is the “hard crack” stage. It’ll be amber in color.
POUR. Immediately pour the mixture onto a lined 12×17 inch jelly roll pan or prepared baking sheet (we prefer using ones with a small lip).
*Place the cookie sheet on a wire cooling rack first, otherwise the heat can transfer onto your countertop, and potentially make a burn mark.
CHOCOLATE. Wait about 1-2 minutes, then sprinkle chocolate chips over top, and let them melt. Spread the melted chocolate in an even layer, and smooth with a knife or spatula. I like to use the same kind of flat knife that I use for frosting a cake.
NUTS. Sprinkle the top with chopped pecans.
When it’s fully hardened you can cut/break it into pieces, and you’re ready to go.
Tips for Making Toffee
Homemade Toffee Candy is quite easy to make, but here are some tips to make the process easier.
Butter. Make sure to use real butter – margarine won’t work for this recipe.
Saucepan. Use a large, heavy bottom saucepan. If the bottom of your saucepan is too thin, the toffee can burn.
Thermometer. I recommend using a candy thermometer to take the guesswork out of knowing when the toffee is done boiling.
If you don’t have one, boil for 10-15 minutes after everything is done melting together. It will be an amber/caramel color.
Hard crack stage. To check that it has reached the hard crack stage, have a bowl of ice water next to the stove.
- Use a spoon to drop a dollop of the candy syrup into cold water. Wait about 10 seconds.
- If the dollop is pliable and bends, the syrup is too soft and needs to boil longer.
- If the dollop snaps, it’s at the hard crack stage and is ready.
Chocolate. Feel free to use milk chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, or dark chocolate on top.
Boil low and slow. Bringing the syrup to a boil too quickly can cause the butter to separate from the sugar. Be patient as the boiling process can take about 15 minutes.
Sugar crystals. Stir occasionally using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Sugar crystals and separation tend to happen when you stir too frequently. If crystallization does happen, be careful not to scrape it off the sides, or bottom of the pot.
Easy clean-up. Line the jelly roll pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
If you are looking to change it up, you can ditch the chopped pecans and do any of the following:
- chopped almonds
- toffee bits
- chopped candy cane bits
- holiday sprinkles
STORE. Keep in an airtight container at room temp for 7-10 days.
FREEZE the toffee by placing it in a freezer-safe bag or dish for up to 1 month.
I love making this Homemade Toffee Recipe over the holidays. It’s sweet, buttery, and completely addictive. Wrap it in festive cellophane bags and give it as gifts, or enjoy it yourself. Either way – it’s the perfect homemade candy to add to your baking repertoire.
For more homemade candy recipes, try:
- 1 Candy thermometer
- Line a 7×12-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
- Combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Clamp a candy thermometer to the saucepan.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, then bring to a boil while whisking constantly.
- Continue whisking the mixture as it boils until it reaches 290°F or the "hard crack" stage. This will take 10–15 minutes, and the mixture will be amber-caramel in color.
- When it reaches hard crack stage, immediately pour toffee into the prepared pan.
- Let sit for 1–2 minutes, then sprinkle chocolate chips on top. After 1 more minute, spread chocolate smooth with an offset or rubber spatula and sprinkle chopped pecans on top.
- Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours to harden, then cut into pieces with a thick, sharp knife.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.