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The Damsel is pleased to have a writing buddy as a substitute teacher today: Christy Monson.  Not only is she a brilliant writer, but she makes darn good English toffee–an old school Christmas treat indeed.

Now, some people think this stuff is tricky to make. Follow these instructions, and you’ll be a pro in no time.

Christy:  Toffee is one of my favorite holiday candies. I like to make it because it’s fast and easy. It’s also fail-proof once you know how to do it. You can make it with or without nuts, depending on your taste and allergies. I love it with sliced almonds, but my favorite is fresh chopped walnuts. We have a walnut tree in our back yard. (The squirrel and I have a contest each fall to see who gets the nuts. When I get there first, he scolds me soundly.)

Here’s what you need: (good, basic stuff you’re likely to have around the kitchen)

  • 2 cubes (1/2 pound) butter (must be AA grade. Lesser grades of butter have water in them and the candy will separate.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 T. water
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • Chocolate – use good quality, your favorite
  • Nuts – any kind you wish. Get ‘em chopped and ready.

Put the butter, sugar and water in a frying pan and turn the heat up high. Don’t turn it down. Stir the whole time. It takes about 10 – 15 minutes to make. Cook it until the color turns caramel. You can see little puffs of smoke coming from the caramel-colored bubbles. Take it off the heat and add the vanilla.

Pour the candy over the sliced almonds or chopped walnuts.

I have a marble slab that I pour the candy on, but you can use a cookie sheet set on a bread board. The candy gets so hot, I wouldn’t put the cookie sheet directly on Formica. It might burn through. If you want the candy covered with chocolate, sprinkle pieces on top while it’s hot and let it melt. Spread it out.

Cool, break it into pieces and enjoy.

Plan on making several batches. My kids can eat it faster than I can make it.

You can find Christy Monson:
Every Saturday at Prophets in Person for unique stories about the lives of pioneer prophets.
Daily at Connections for a quick daily thought or scripture to keep your day positive and peaceful.
Every Monday at Paper and Parchment for tips and quirky insights into the life of a crazy writer.

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  • Aimee Vu

    May I ask what is a “square” of butter? Is it that whole package in view?

    • thedamselindisdress

      Sorry that was confusing! I’ve fixed it now. It should be “cubes” not squares. So for this recipe use 2 cubes, or 1/2 lb. Thanks!
      Margot (The Damsel)

      • Aimee Vu

        Thanks for such a quick response! I hope I get the chance to try these out around the holidays. :)

  • calicocat2

    I don’t know what a ‘square’ of butter is either….since that is 1 pound of butter in the picture, and the recipe calls for 2 squares, it is confusing. I would love to try this one.

    • thedamselindisdress

      Whoops! I’ve fixed that now. Sorry that was confusing! It should be “cubes” not squares. So for this recipe use 2 cubes, or 1/2 lb. Thanks!
      Margot

  • johnsoncyn

    I am curious also about the butter measurement. Could you please inform us exactly how much is called for. Otherwise, the recipe is one I am looking forward to make at Christmas.

    • thedamselindisdress

      Sorry that was confusing! I’ve fixed it now. It should be “cubes” not squares. So for this recipe use 2 cubes, or 1/2 lb. Thanks!
      Margot (The Damsel)