Thumbing through recipes last week, I found a tried-and-true candy recipe I’ve carried with me for at least 25 years. Shared by my first CT neighbor, Debbie, this is one of those candies that tastes like it came from a gourmet shop. Except it’s not.
I met Debbie when I moved us to our teeny apartment on the second floor of a family home in an older, established neighborhood. It was just my boy and me so we didn’t need much – in fact – we shared a bedroom. A few doors down was their house – Debbie and Rick’s. At the time, they had two large dogs in place of the kids that never arrived. Rick looked like Santa Claus and could fix anything except their relationship. Debbie, short and stocky, was a good friend and an avid reader — we shared books and she talked regularly of their struggles with infertility. Sometimes she cried about it, especially when holding my curly-haired giggling son. Sadly, their marriage didn’t last and one day the house was sold – both moved on and we lost track of each other. So when I read through my notes on how to make this candy, what comes to mind is kindness, big dogs, and unfulfilled dreams.
** Debbie’s Butter Crunch Toffee **
- 1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup crushed almonds for topping
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter, no exceptions
- 3 tbsp water
- 1/4 lb melted semi-sweet chocolate
- Candy Thermometer
- ** Makes 2 lbs
- In a heavy saucepan cook the butter, sugar and water on medium-high heat.
- Cooking rapidly and stirring constantly this will gradually become thicker and caramel in color ~ cook steadily for about 10 minutes or until the mixture reaches the “hard crack” candy stage (300F).
- Stir slivered almonds into the caramel and pour onto the cookie sheet.
- Melt chocolate and spread over caramel.
- Note – (I usually melt the chocolate in double boiler – a small sauce pan sitting inside another saucepan of water set to medium hot — it will melt but not burn that way. You can also microwave it).
- Before the chocolate topping hardens dust the entire mixture with finely crushed almonds.
- Let cool then break into pieces.
- Store in a covered container. Freezes well.
I live in the Great Lakes State and it is often too humid to make this — so don’t even attempt it on a humid day b/c you will have a dickens of a time getting the toffee to “set.” I will make this when the temps drop again and it’s frigid and windy outside. It’s also a perfect make-at-the-last-minute-bring-to-a-party-treat. Thanks, Debbie.
What favorite recipe came to you in an unconventional way? Who comes to mind when you make it?