Old-Fashioned Toffee Recipe

Old-fashioned toffee is a holiday favorite that recipe developer Kate Shungu says is "great for gift giving or holiday cookie trays." While this particular recipe has the usual hits (the toffee, the chocolate, and the nuts), Shungu also likes to add flaky sea salt to the top of her toffee.

Shungu says this trendy ingredient "gives it a modern twist and a punch of saltiness that perfectly complements the sweetness of the toffee." She notes that traditional recipes will typically include some salt in the candy itself, but says that here "the extra flaky salt on top brings this old fashioned recipe into the 21st century." She does say, though, that you can omit the flaky salt topping if you're not on board with the whole salted caramel trend and prefer your toffee the old-fashioned way.

Assemble the ingredients for the toffee

The toffee is built on a base of nuts — Shungu uses pecans here, although she says that, for an alternative, "you can either use walnuts, almonds, or leave out the nuts altogether." The toffee itself is made of butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla, while the candy is topped with a layer of melted chocolate chips. For salting the top, it's best to use flaky sea salt such as maldon.

Prepare the pan and the nuts

Go ahead and give your pecans a nice, rough chop. It's best you do this by hand, as a food processor would chop them too finely, which would significantly reduce the crunch factor. Once the nuts are chopped, line a flat pan with parchment paper, then sprinkle the nuts onto it in a rectangle about 9x12 inches in size.

Make the toffee

Melt the butter on the stove top and add the sugar (plus a little salt). Set the burner on medium so the mixture doesn't heat up too quickly. Bring it to a boil and cook it until it reaches 285 F on a candy thermometer. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir the mixture every so often as it cooks, but keep a close eye on that thermometer. As soon as it hits the proper temperature, stir in the vanilla and then turn off the burner.

Build the toffee layer by layer

Pour the candy mixture evenly over the pecans, then let it cool for 2 minutes. Next, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the candy, then allow it to melt for 2 to 3 minutes. Once it has softened up, spread the melty chocolate out over the toffee. As a last step, sprinkle the chocolate with the maldon salt. Let the toffee cool for 2 hours at room temperature or for 1 hour in the refrigerator, then break it into pieces before eating. The candy can be stored either at room temperature or in the refrigerator, but either way, it's best to keep it in an airtight container.

Old-Fashioned Toffee Recipe
5 from 15 ratings
This sweet and salty treat is perfect for gifting to friends and family over the holidays — if there's any left after tasting it for yourself, that is.
Prep Time
1.17
hours
Cook Time
15
minutes
Servings
8
Servings
toffee with salt on top
Total time: 1.42 hours
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
Directions
  1. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the paper in a rectangle measuring approximately 9x12 inches.
  3. Melt the butter with the sugar and salt over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then stir it occasionally for about 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture reaches 285 F on a candy thermometer.
  5. Stir in the vanilla, then turn off the heat.
  6. Pour the candy mixture over the pecans in an even layer.
  7. Let the candy cool for 2 minutes, then sprinkle it with the chocolate chips.
  8. Let the chocolate melt for 2 to 3 minutes, then spread it out over the toffee.
  9. Sprinkle the sea salt over the chocolate.
  10. Let the toffee cool for about 2 hours at room temperature or 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  11. Break the toffee into bite-sized pieces before eating. Store in an air-tight container.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 536
Total Fat 39.4 g
Saturated Fat 19.5 g
Trans Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 65.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 46.1 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Total Sugars 43.1 g
Sodium 212.7 mg
Protein 2.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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