Candy making for the novice
6 hours 30 minutes Total Time
30 minutes to cook
6 hours to cool
3 pounds

I've made a lot of candy over the years, but this was the first recipe I ever tried. I was able to make it without a candy thermometer by looking at the color of the toffee. (But use a thermometer if you have one. Preferably one that can clip to the pan.) 

This recipe was shared on a Cook's Illustrated bulletin board many years ago. The board is no longer available, but I saved the recipe because it worked so well for me. It is a fun recipe to make because you get to try making the candy part of the toffee and you also get to use a simple tempering technique with the chocolate. Melting some of the chips and adding the rest after to cool down the chocolate usually allows the chocolate to keep its temper. That means the chocolate won't melt in your hands. 

Some people who tried this recipe originally had trouble with the chocolate separating from the chocolate. That has never happened to me. I believe timing the melting of the chocolate towards the end of the candy making process, and making sure you wait the 3 minutes before spreading may help. It is very important to let everything cool and harden completely before you break it apart. I would make it the day before you need it, if possible. 

Do not used slivered almonds in this recipe, because they are too thin and will burn. You can skip the almonds and this recipe should still work. 



  • Gather ingredients.
    Step 0
  • Place 3/4 of the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl. Wait to melt the chocolate until the candy is cooking, but have it ready to go. Reserve the rest of the chips for cooling/tempering the chocolate later.
    Step 1
  • Line a half sheet pan with heavy-duty foil and spray lightly with a vegetable oil spray.
    Step 2
  • Melt the butter and salt in a 3 quart sauce pan.
    Step 3
  • Continue to heat over a medium heat and slowly add the sugar to the melted butter, stirring constantly.
    Step 4
  • Add the water carefully to the pan and stir to combine. Continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
    Step 5
  • Add the almonds and stir to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high.
    Step 6
  • If you have an attachable thermometer attach it to the pan to watch the temperature. Cook the mixture to 310-320° stirring frequently. The candy will be a medium-dark amber color at this point.
    Step 7
  • While the candy is cooking, microwave the chocolate chips at 50% power, stirring every minute until the chocolate is melted. When fully melted, remove and stir in the remaining chips. Set aside.
    Step 8
  • When candy reaches 310° (or 320° if you prefer darker), pour into the prepared half-sheet pan. Set the pan on a cooling rack. Let the toffee sit for 3 minutes to cool just a bit.
    Step 9
  • With an offset spatula, carefully spread the chocolate over the toffee.
    Step 10
  • If using nuts, sprinkly evenly over the chocolate. Gently press into the chocolate with spatula.
    Step 11
  • Allow toffee to completely cool and harden, usually at least 6 hours.
    Step 12
  • Break the toffee into pieces. You can pull up a corner from the pan and break it with your hands. The toffee should keep for at least a few weeks.
    Step 13

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