painting of English toffee and ingredients as seen by a horse.

Sebastian and the English Toffee. 12″ x 12″ watercolor pencil. Sharyn Dimmick

Last week Susan Darm showed up to show you how to make her delicious caramels. This week she is back with her English Toffee recipe. The basic recipe has only three ingredients — shouldn’t you be making some? Think of how nice it will be standing over a warm, fragrant pot of caramel on these cold days.

Susan says:

I did not get this recipe from a book. It may have been given to me by a neighbor, Mrs. Steel, who was from England. I never wrote it down because the recipe was simple, consisting of only three ingredients. These were cooked together carefully then poured out, cooled and broken into pieces which could be covered or dipped in chocolate and robed in chopped almonds. I made English Toffee at the holidays for years. So far I have not found any commercial toffee that tastes as good.

English Toffee

One pound granulated sugar

One pound butter (I have used salted and un-salted. Salted works better for me).

One cup raw almonds

Prepare a buttered cookie sheet. I use a buttered silicon cooking mat on a cookie sheet but it works just as well without the silicon. In a good quality saucepan about 10 inch diameter, place the sugar and butter. Melt these together stirring continuously until they are completely melted and start to bubble. Add the raw almonds. Continue to cook at a slow boil while stirring constantly never lifting the spoon from the mixture. If you are using a candy thermometer you will do this until it reads 290-300 degrees f (between soft crack and hard crack stage). If not using a thermometer, cook until the candy starts to turn a beautiful toffee color and pulls away from the sides of the pan as you stir. Remove the pan from the heat. Carefully remove the stirrer from the pan. Do not allow any candy on the stirrer to drip back in to the pan, it could taint your candy and ruin the texture. Pour the candy on to the baking sheet or silicon mat. I let it cool just a little then use a silicon spatula to smooth the surface and spread the nuts uniformly. I sometimes score the candy lightly with a knife just before it hardens so I get uniform sized pieces when I break the cooled candy. Once the candy has cooled you can do what you want, break it in to pieces to dip in chocolate, crumble it, or chocolate coat the whole big piece to give as a gift along with a little hammer. Have fun and be creative!

Food Notes (from Sharyn): We pour our candy into buttered Pyrex oblong pans. It works for us.

Painting note: Today’s painting features Susan’s horse, Sebastian, who says, “Western tack, please, but English toffee!”

Susan promises to come back next fall and teach us how to cure olives.