Mahogany Buttercrunch Toffee (TNT)
Mahogany Buttercrunch Toffee
This recipe is based on the one from "Rose's Christmas Cookies" by Rose Levy Berenbaum. It's simple to make, but you have to stand over the stove for a while. Not a bad trade-off
considering the results. This is excellent!
2 cups blanched sliced almonds (the thin ones, not slivered)
1 1/4 firmly packed cups light brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces bitterweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely
chopped (for the topping--I actually use much more and liberally sprinkle the top with chocolate)
First, you need to toast your almonds. In a preheated oven set to 350 degrees F toast the almonds on a cookie sheet. Stir them occasionally and watch them closely as they like to burn. You want them to be golden in color.
Depending on your oven it can take 10 to 12 minutes or less. Remove the almonds from the hot cookie sheet so they will not continue to color and set to cool. I usually put them in a glass bowl to cool. Once cool, I place the almonds in a large plastic sealable bag and smash them until they are finely broken. This can be done in a food processor but it is very easy to over process and turn the nuts into too fine a powder.
Butter an area of a cookie sheet so that you have at least a 7-inch by 10-inch rectangle--it is ok if it is a little larger because sometimes the candy spreads but that is the size you are aiming for. Spread half of the almonds over the buttered rectangle so that it is covered and keep it close to your stovetop. It is a good idea to have your premeasured vanilla and baking soda at hand as well. Candy waits for nobody.
This next step is the part that can be time consuming standing and stirring in front of the stove. You do not want the sugar to burn so don't be tempted to turn up the heat to make things go faster. This is where haste makes waste. Mix the light brown sugar, water, and butter in a medium-sized saucepan. While contantly stirring bring the mixture to a boil. Stirring will help prevent burning. You want to bring the mixture to the soft crack stage which is 285 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Now you have to move quickly, remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately add the vanilla and the baking soda. It will foam up and lighten in color--just stir the ingredients in and immediately pour the toffee candy evenly on top of the toasted almonds.
This next step has to be done quickly as well. Sprinkle as much chocolate as you like over the hot toffee. I consider the 6 oz listed in the recipe a floor and not a ceiling. I just like to ensure the entire toffee is well covered. When the chocolate has softened, after about 5 minutes, using an offset spatula, spread it to create an even layer over the top of the toffee candy. Sprinkle the remaining almonds over the candy. Let the mahogany buttercrunch toffee cool completely before you break it into irregular pieces and place it in airtight containers and keep at room temperature in a cool room.
I like to put the toffee into tins and give as gifts.
Hopefully the photo I have tried to include here will be able to be seen.