How to Make Toffee

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Learn how to make toffee at home! Buttery crisp and topped with melted chocolate, this classic homemade candy makes a great gift.

Here’s a little secret: I like homemade candy during the holidays better than I like cookies. 🙈 I can’t help it…I’m a candy girl! I’ll never turn down an oven fresh cookie, but after they are cooled, hand over all the buckeyes, brittle and turtles.

This buttery sweet homemade toffee recipe is easier to make than you think, and we’ll walk you through the steps to ensure success!

chocolate topped toffee in a gift tin

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • traditional toffee recipe
  • buttery and crisp
  • topped with dark chocolate
  • perfect for gift giving

What is toffee?

Toffee is a homemade candy that is made by caramelizing sugar and butter. You’ll cook it to the “hard crack stage” and end up with a crisp, buttery candy that has a deep brown sugar molasses flavor.

pieces of english toffee on a table

What is in toffee?

  • Butter. Use a high quality butter. If you can find European butter, that works great in this recipe. Don’t use margarine!
  • Brown sugar. You can use white sugar or brown sugar, but preferred the slight difference in brown sugar.
  • Water. Adding water helps the sugar crystals melt quickly so that your toffee is the right texture.
  • Corn syrup. This also helps prevent the sugar from crystalizing.
  • Salt. You can leave the salt out if you use salted butter.
  • Dark chocolate chips. Or milk chocolate or semisweet. The choice is yours!
  • Chopped pecans. For making the top look pretty. A sprinkling of sea salt helps too!

You’ll also need a good thermometer. We LOVE our Thermoworks ThermaPen to quickly test temperatures. This probe thermometer is AMAZING. Get it here.

How to Make Toffee

To prepare, cover a 10×15” baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside until you’ve cooked the toffee.

  • Cover a 10×15” baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together the butter, brown sugar, water, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • Cook and stir until the temperature of the syrup reaches hard crack stage, 290-295 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the heat.
  • Immediately pour the mixture on the parchment paper lined pan.
toffee pouring on parchment paper
  • Allow the mixture to cool for 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with chocolate chips and let them sit and melt for 5 minutes.
  • Use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate chips to cover the top.
  • Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
chocolate topped toffee cooling on a pan

Recipe Variations:

  • Use white sugar instead of brown sugar.
  • Add slivered almonds or pecans to the toffee itself before pouring.
  • Drizzle the top with white chocolate.
  • Add sprinkles to the toffee.
  • Score the toffee as it is setting to get more cleanly cut pieces.
  • Cover each piece completely in chocolate. This will help keep it fresh longer.

How to Store Toffee

Once the toffee is set and broken into pieces, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

overhead view of a tin of toffee
overhead view of a tin of toffee

English Toffee Recipe

4.50 from 4 votes
Learn how to make toffee at home! Buttery crisp and topped with melted chocolate, this classic homemade candy makes a great gift.
Servings 20
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Setting Time 4 hours

Ingredients
 

  • 16 ounces unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

Instructions
 

  • Cover a 10×15” baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together the butter, brown sugar, water, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until the temperature of the syrup reaches hard crack stage, 290-295 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the heat.
  • Immediately pour the mixture on the parchment paper lined pan.
  • Allow the mixture to cool for 3 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with chocolate chips and let them sit and melt for 5 minutes.
  • Use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate chips to cover the top.
  • Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
  • Allow the toffee to set at room temperature for 4 hours or until the chocolate is set.
  • Break into pieces and store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe being divided into 20 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 piece of toffee. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 184mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 571IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 418
Keyword christmas, homemade candy

Frequently Asked Questions

Does toffee have nuts?

Toffee doesn’t always have nuts, but it does sometimes, so if you have an allergy, please check the ingredients. Sometimes people put toffee on top of the chocolate and sometimes they add them to the toffee itself.

Is toffee gluten free?

Yes! Toffee is a gluten free product.

What is the difference between toffee and caramel?

Toffee and caramel are made similarly, but caramel traditionally has cream added so it stays softer than toffee.

Can you use this recipe to make saltine toffee?

This recipe is a little more involved than our saltine toffee recipe, but yes, if you’d like you can pour this hot toffee over saltines.

Can you use this recipe to make toffee apples?

Yes! You’ll have to work quickly, but you can dip and twist apples in the hot syrup to make toffee apples. This follows a similar procedure to our candy apples.

Help! My chocolate has white stuff all over the top. What happened?

This is called chocolate bloom and happens when there is moisture on the chocolate. An easy way to prevent this is to use more chopped nuts on top. Really coat the top with chopped nuts well so that if the chocolate does bloom, you won’t be able to see it.

Help! The chocolate isn’t staying on the toffee.

Try letting the chocolate melt on the hot toffee then spreading it rather than allowing the toffee to cool and adding melted chocolate. I’ve also read you can dust the top of the toffee with cocoa powder before melting the chocolate.

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Jason
1 year ago

5 stars
These look so pretty and tasty! I love the treats around the holidays. I will try it for my family. Thanks you.