This is the phrase that Paloma Picasso once used to describe her perfume. I’ve always loved this particular description and thought it was a wonderful way to describe the various unnecessary pleasures we all enjoy. The little things that make life better. Today I’m using this phrase to describe candy: specifically toffee.
My mother taught me to make this candy when I was a child (almost 21 years ago), and I’ve been making it ever since. If I were to have a signature dish, it would be this toffee. It is my most requested gift- and I actually think that there may be some people who remain in my good graces just to ensure that they receive a box of toffee .
In honor of the holidays and the coming new year, I’ve decided to share the recipe– with my mother’s blessing.
Without further adieu:
Toffee, or How to win friends and Influence People
1 cup of sliced or chopped nuts, pecans or almonds
1 1/2 cups of salted butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 package, or 1 1/2 cups, chocolate chips
1. Butter a 9″ x 13″ pan, and spread the nuts on the bottom. Put this aside.
2. In a medium to large saucepan, bring the sugar and butter to a boil on medium high heat. Stirring constantly (!!!) bring it to 300 degrees- hard crack stage on a candy thermometer.
3. Moving quickly (and still stirring), pour the toffee over the nuts. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, cover the pan with aluminum foil and go away for 15 minutes.
4. Remove the foil and spread the melted chocolate over the toffee. Put the aluminum foil back on and put the pan in the refrigerator.
5. Let the toffee cool and harden for at least 4 hours.
6. Break it into pieces and store in airtight containers.
7. Store in the refrigerator or another cool place
Makes 1 pound
The two main things to remember, and be vigilant about, in order to have a successful outcome are the stirring and temperature. Seriously, toffee waits for no one.
Also, please heed my advice and use a blunt knife when you break up the candy. I learned this lesson the hard way: with a trip to the emergency room.
I wish all of you a glorious holiday and hope 2009 is a year filled with joy, health, beauty and peace!