Thursday, March 11, 2010

Super Easy Toffee

Friends, this is for any of you who also are entering finals week or any other time-pressured season that requires sugar consumption. This is an incredibly easy, fast, and reliable recipe. I could eat an entire pan of it myself...not to give away my stress eating habits...

I found a simple recipe online recently when I was looking for a way to use up the big bag of graham cracker crumbs in my kitchen, and to that recipe I added chocolate and fleur de sel and took away a baking step - hopefully making it simpler and better!

Interestingly, it actually calls for margarine for half of the fat element, which cuts down on the saturated fat; I used the all-natural Earth Balance (non-whipped), and it worked great. I tried using all margarine one time, since I was out of butter, but that gave it a strange aftertaste. Of course I still ate it, but again, it's finals season.

One of the best things about this toffee is that it isn't too hard when you bite into it, but the other great thing is that it is not a touchy recipe; while other sugar-boiling recipes (especially caramel) can be quite finicky, this one has come out just right every time I have made it. Which has been quite a few times in the last 2 weeks.

The graham cracker crumbs keep it from getting too sweet, and give it a nice variation in texture. Feel free to mix things up - add/replace a layer (coconut? more nuts?), remove the chocolate, etc. Just use the sugar-boiling process as a base for the candy you build.

And please, please be careful every time you work with sugar on the stove top, because it can get VERY hot and it's very easy to burn yourself.

Super Easy Toffee

1/2 C margarine
1/2 C unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 C light brown sugar
1 tsp fleur de sel/large grain sea salt
1 C chopped raw pecans (toast if desired)
3 oz. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 or more bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Melt the margarine and butter in a medium saucepan on the stove top. Once melted, stir in the sugar, salt, and pecans. Time it once it starts to boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly and keeping it at a medium boil. Set aside after the 3 minutes.
2. Spread out the graham cracker crumbs in a 9"x13" cake pan in an even layer. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crumbs. Add as many chocolate chips as you want, but don't let them become more than a single layer of chips since you want them to melt.
3. Spoon the sugar mixture over the chocolate and crumbs as evenly as possible; it's okay if the toffee doesn't reach the sides of the pan, but try to smooth it out close to the sides so that it doesn't get too thick. It won't look pretty, but it WILL taste good once it's cooled!
4. Let cool, then break into pieces and enjoy!

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