Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Old Favorites

I can't remember the first time I made Toffee.  I know I was a child because the first time I made it I used the cookbook I got for my 7th birthday!  Although I've streamlined that recipe and made it as simple as it can be I remember standing on a step stool over the stove to stir it continuously while it boiled.

Now I only manage to make it around the holidays and every time I do I wonder why I don't make it as a special treat throughout the year.  I always have the ingredients on hand, it just never enters my mind.  Maybe now with the picture flashing by in the corner of my blog I'll provide a special treat more often.

1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Butter a square pan, 9x9x2 inches.  Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the bottom.
Heat the sugar and butter to boiling in a 1 quart saucepan, stirring constantly.  Boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 7 minutes.  Immediately spread mixture over pecans in prepared pan.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hot mixture and place a cookie sheet over the pan until the chips are melted.  Spread the melted chocolate over the candy.
Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm then break into desired size pieces.

What I've learned over the years:  don't substitute anything for the butter; boil for exactly 7 minutes and not a second or two longer; once it starts boiling and you're on medium heat don't turn it up or down during the 7 minutes; run water in the pan immediately to prevent a hard and laborious cleanup; use a light weight wooden spoon to stir, you'd be surprised how heavy that spoon gets after 5 minutes!

Although simple in ingredients and preparation it seems that something invariably goes wrong with at least two batches a year! Not bad when I make anywhere from 10-15 batches! So far this year I've made five and only one had a little snafu. Not sure what happened but the sugar crystallized and it became soft toffee! Every morsel of that soft old favorite was eaten!

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