- 7-8 quart pot
- You really need a good pot with even heating – something with a thick bottom or good metals (copper, aluminum). Avoid anodized aluminum, it sucks.
- Candy thermometer
- You need a good accurate candy thermometer. Don’t use a meat or oven thermometer. I use a 12 inch thermometer with the metal plate backing and the big clip so it can just rest on the side of the pot the whole time. Taylor and Wilton are both ok choices.
- Wooden paddle or spoon
- Clean, brush in bowl of glass or water – definitely not plastic bristles.
- Clean baking sheet
- One batch covers 630 square inches. I use a Nordicware 21 x 15 aluminum baking sheet for a half batch.
- Avoid glass, it’s tougher to pop out the toffee after it sets
- Avoid wax paper and foil, they stick to the toffee
Ingredients (full batch)
- 7 cups white sugar
- Half teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Butter baking sheets
- Add sugar and tartar to pot and whisk together so tartar is fully mixed into sugar
- Add cream
- Turn on heat to medium, medium-low
- Burner will stay at this temp for entire cook
- Keep stirring so all sugar crystals dissolve
- When syrup (the cream/sugar mixture) boils, add butter
- Consider cutting butter into smaller cubes
- Use the brush and water to clean up the sides inside the pot. Only do this once right after you add the butter.
- The idea is that you don’t want crystals to form on the sides which could cause crystal formation in the syrup. Don’t worry about water getting in the syrup, it’s just going to evaporate.
- You’re going to heat the syrup to 300F
- During this time, gently stir occasionally
- You want to stir as little as possible. Only enough to keep syrup from burning.
- I stir 3-4 times and very briefly
- Avoid scraping the bottom or sides or else you might get crystals that will make your toffee grainy
- Turn off heat at 300F
- Temperature may vary. If toffee is too hard and brittle after it sets, turn off before 300F. If it’s soft like Sugar Daddies, heat to higher temp. As little as five degrees makes a big difference.
- Add vanilla and stir thoroughly. Avoid scraping sides and bottom.
- Pour syrup into baking sheet
- Do not scrape excess from sides and bottom. Just let it all pour out.
- Put toffee in cool, dry place for a couple hours to set
- Once toffee is room temp, break into pieces and dip in chocolate and roasted nuts of choice (almonds, pistachios, pecans and peanuts work well)
Toffee seems like it would be difficult to clean up but it’s very easy. Simply fill the pot with water. Add spoon and thermometer to pot and boil the water until all the sugar is dissolved.