Almond-Encrusted English Toffee

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins

I got this recipe last year from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It is by John Kessler and by far the best toffee I've tried to make. (And I have tried others from the site!) I made this for Christmas gifts and people just loved it! For best results, use quality ingrediants such as Plugra butter and Ghirardelli chocolate. The original recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate, but I prefer milk chocolate. Just a matter of preference. Also, if you use roasted almonds instead of raw, they may overcook!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Chop the almonds until they are broken into chunks with a food processor or blender.
  2. Remove half and continue to grind the remaining portion into a coarse meal- Set both halves aside for later.
  3. Melt butter with salt on medium heat.
  4. Stir sugar in slowly.
  5. Continue cooking and stirring for approximately 15 minutes.
  6. At first, the sugar will sink to the bottom and not melt.
  7. Eventually, the sugar and butter will melt into each other into a pearly, puffy mixture (make sure your pan is large enough) and then will continue to darken from buttery yellow to tan.
  8. When it turns tan, stir in the chunks of almond and vanilla, darkening the mixture further.
  9. Continue stirring until the almonds are toasted- You will be able to tell by the scent- Be very careful at this point that the almonds do not begin to burn!
  10. The temperature should be about 280°/Hard crack stage and if butter starts to rise to the top, take mixture off the heat immediately.
  11. Stir it briskly once off the heat then pour into a 11x15 baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  12. Cut 1/2 the chocolate up and melt over a double boiler and spread over the surface of the cooling toffee.
  13. Dust surface with 1/2 of the almond meal.
  14. Once cooled and hardened, melt the remaining chocolate, flip toffee out of the pan, and coat the bottom.
  15. Repeat dusting of almonds.
  16. Don't get all stressed if the toffee breaks-- it's supposed to be handy-size chunks.
  17. Refrigerate until hardened thoroughly and finish breaking into piece.
  18. Continue to refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve/given as gift/eaten!
Most Helpful

Was confused about how much vanilla to put in; I used 1 tsp. and it seemed good. I don't own a candy thermometer, so I appreciated the descriptions of color and texture in the recipe. That helped me judge when it was done. Also, 35 minutes seems way too optimistic, considering the time it takes to cool everything in between steps. Thought the flavor was fantastic. Everyone loves getting this!

Michigan girl December 22, 2007

This toffee was very good. However, there were a couple of areas in the recipe that were a little confusing. The directions called for vanilla (step #8), but there was no vanilla listed in the ingredients. I added 1 tsp. of vanilla and this seemed to work fine. Also, the directions called for cooking the mixture to 280 degrees (hard crack stage). Hard crack stage is actually 300 degrees, so I wasn't sure whether to cook it to 280 or 300 degrees. I ended up cooking it to 300 degrees and this seemed to work. Overall, this recipe had a great flavor and wasn't difficult to make. My family really liked it and I will be making it again (with the stated changes). Thank you for sharing this recipe.

Bayhill April 23, 2006