Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Last Minute Toffee
One of my favorite things to pick up at Trader Joe's is their dark chocolate pistachio toffee. It is absolutely to die for: perfectly salty, sweet, crunchy, rich. The process of making toffee has always kind of intimidated me, as it involves a candy thermometer and crazy-hot butter and sugar, plus I feel like clean-up is awful with that stuck to the pan.
On Monday night, though, I needed to make something for my nursing group's Thanksgiving treat exchange. I'm a bit over cookies for the time being, and have to make three pies for Thursday, so wanted a new challenge. While flipping through the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, I summoned the courage to try this toffee recipe. The ingredient list is pretty manageable (though I adjusted it a bit for what I had in the house), and the steps just didn't seem that daunting. Thank goodness I did! This toffee is absolutely delicious, and would probably be even better if you followed Deb's instructions. Mine worked out pretty well, though, so don't be afraid to make a few subtle adjustments, if needed. The main difference is that the book recipe and web recipe (which I link to below) have differing amounts of butter; I went with the book amount, which was only half of what is actually called for online. Still tasty, but I'm sure it would be even more decadent with double the butter.
Last Minute Toffee (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
8 Tbsp. butter (1 stick)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. molasses
1/4 tsp. flaky sea salt (I used pink himalayan)
1 1/4 c. dark chocolate chunks
1/2 c. pistachio halves
1. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat.
2. In a medium heavy saucepan with candy thermometer attached, melt butter, sugars, molasses, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a whisk until temperature approaches 250 degrees, then stir constantly until it reaches 300 degrees.
3. Pour immediately onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with chocolate. Let sit for a minute to melt while you fill your now-empty saucepan with hot water so it's easier to clean. Use an offset spatula to spread chocolate over toffee. Add pistachios and let sit overnight, or until hardened.
4. Break into smallish pieces, package, and be ready for compliments.