Basic Toffee

It’s probably a good thing I only learned last night how easy it is to make toffee – IF you have an electric stove. Attempting to make caramel/toffee on a gas stove has been the bane of my existence for years. Years!

I cannot count the number of times a recipe reduced me to cursing and tears by calling for caramel. And I cannot emphasize enough that making caramel on a gas stove is nigh impossible. I mean, it is for me. I’m sure there are super-bakers out there that can swing it, but for us mere mortals, not so much.

But recipes never told me that it was a stove issue. They just nonchalantly told me to stir the sugar until it caramelized and blah blah blah. No hint of the crystalized mess that would drive me to rage and ruin.

Anyway. The point is: if you have an electric stove, this is a super-easy, simple toffee recipe that comes from the ever-so-amazing Cookie Love by Mindy Segal. I’ve made a handful of recipes from this book so far, and they’re all pretty outstanding. Also salty – she likes the salt. I do too, but I tend to go a bit easier on the salt than what she calls for. But just a bit. The salt is awesome.

I made this toffee for her Chocolate Toffee Biscotti, but I now know I can make it any time a recipe calls for toffee bits and I don’t feel like running to the grocery store.

Admittedly, I was a wee bit imprecise. Measuring 2 1/4 tsp of corn syrup was beyond my patience and dedication. I got it somewhere in the vicinity, and it turned out fine.

I made two batches (to double the biscotti recipe), and I came pretty close to burning the second batch. Probably mere seconds away from it, and if you didn’t already know this, burnt caramel/toffee is foul. So be careful. Once it looks like caramel (you know, that warm, brown, caramel color), you can probably call it a day.

Toffee (from Cookie Love by Mindy Segal)

Grade: A

  • 6 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp corn syrup
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

(Makes a bit over 1 cup of chopped toffee)

Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat mat (best option) or aluminum foil that you’ve sprayed with cooking spray (feasible, but not as good an option).

In a heavy-bottom saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, reduce the heat to low and add the other ingredients. Stir occasionally as the mixture bubbles until the sugars begin to caramelize (around 4-6 minutes).

When it turns a dark caramel color, turn off the heat, stir it a few more times, and pour it onto the Silpat.

Let it cool/harden (takes maybe 15 mins?), then chop/break into pieces.

According to Segal, it should keep in an airtight container for up to a month depending on the humidity.

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