By Peg Brantley, who is generally a better writer than she is a cook. She hopes.
Here's the toffee recipe I made for the first time this afternoon. Fresh in my mind, I'm including the things I'll try different the next time. It didn't quite come out looking like Enstrom's, but hey . . . it's not half bad.
And, to keep this crime fiction related, I'm guessing if you had a real almond toffee fanatic, there would be an easy way to doctor the recipe to suit.
2 cups butter (hey, it Christmas. The only time of year you can get away with this behavior.)
2 cups white, granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt (I almost said, "Why bother?", but recognize salt as the taste bringer-outer of all time.)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I may, per LoML, make sure these are white chocolate the next time.)
1 cup finely chopped almonds (OMG, I typed onions first. Now that would be different.)
In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil, and cook until the mixture becomes a dark amber color, and the temperature has reached 285 degrees F (137 degrees C). Stir occasionally.
While the toffee is cooking, cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. (I used parchment, and since this was my first time making this, I have no idea how aluminum foil will behave. However, because of the copious amount of butter, I'm guessing it doesn't matter.)
As soon as the toffee reaches the proper temperature, pour it onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the chocolate over the top, and let it set for a minute or two to soften. Spread the chocolate into a thin, even layer once it is melted. Sprinkle the nuts over t he chocolate, and press in slightly. Putting a plastic bag over your hand will minimize the mess.
Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.
Here's what I'll try differently the next time I make this:
At the end of the cooking cycle for peanut brittle, I add a little vanilla. I think I'll try adding a little almond to enhance the taste. Maybe a teaspoon.
I will crush extra almonds to powder (do they sell almond powder?) and sprinkle on top of the parchment paper prior to unloading the toffee. And maybe a little extra on the top with the crushed/chopped almonds.
My very best wishes to all of you for a fabulous holiday season. I've been blessed beyond reason with love in my life, and really go into an alternative reality to write the stories I write.
Cheers to my Crime Fiction Collective teammates, to all of the readers who make this blog worthwhile, and to an amazing 2012!