Recipe by Sarah Stewart
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!
Top Review by Michigan girl
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!
- 1 lb raw almonds (whole, skin-on)
- 1 lb unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon fleur de sel sea salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1⁄2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 12 ounces chocolate
Directions See How It's Made
- Chop the almonds until they are broken into chunks with a food processor or blender.
- Remove half and continue to grind the remaining portion into a coarse meal- Set both halves aside for later.
- Melt butter with salt on medium heat.
- Stir sugar in slowly.
- Continue cooking and stirring for approximately 15 minutes.
- At first, the sugar will sink to the bottom and not melt.
- 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.
- When it turns tan, stir in the chunks of almond and vanilla, darkening the mixture further.
- 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!
- The temperature should be about 280°/Hard crack stage and if butter starts to rise to the top, take mixture off the heat immediately.
- Stir it briskly once off the heat then pour into a 11x15 baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Cut 1/2 the chocolate up and melt over a double boiler and spread over the surface of the cooling toffee.
- Dust surface with 1/2 of the almond meal.
- Once cooled and hardened, melt the remaining chocolate, flip toffee out of the pan, and coat the bottom.
- Repeat dusting of almonds.
- Don't get all stressed if the toffee breaks-- it's supposed to be handy-size chunks.
- Refrigerate until hardened thoroughly and finish breaking into piece.
- Continue to refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve/given as gift/eaten!