Every year I make about 50 1lb. boxes of English toffee and peanut brittle to send out to family and friends. Over the past 10 years I have gotten extremely good at making it! My next door neighbor says that my toffee is the standard by which he holds all others. He’s never found one better.
I’m telling you this not to brag or boast, but to share with you the secret behind my candy’s success.
Not only do I use fresh ingredients and plan everything out ahead of time so I’m not scrambling to get stuff at the last minute.
The most important ingredient I add is love.
Yes, that’s right, I stir in love. (See the pic above of my wonderful son helping me by folding boxes while I stir)
You see, the English Toffee takes 15 minutes of constant stirring and then must be pulled from the heat at exactly 290 degrees Fahrenheit. For those 15 minutes, I’m focusing my hand on keeping the spoon moving steadily, but my mind is imagining all of the happy faces of the people who will get a box of candy from me/us. I imagine the squeals of delight when they open their mailbox and then that joyful savoring of the first bite. The happiness and joy that comes from this candy feeds my soul, as well as those who get to experience it.
When my darling husband realized I was good at making the English Toffee, he asked me to start making peanut brittle. Although it takes twice as long, it uses the same ingredients so it wasn’t difficult to incorporate this recipe into my ritual. The process is the same, it just takes longer. Stirring the brittle takes 30 minutes before adding the peanuts then stirring all of that together for another 15 more minutes. Just like with the toffee, I focus on stirring in love and joy.
For those of you who are interested in making candy for you and your loved ones, I’m going to share the recipes here for you. Don’t get discouraged if your first batches don’t turn out perfect. Just keep trying and soon you’ll be spreading happiness and joy along with your gifts of candy!
*Use a very sturdy 3 quart saucepan. The sides need to be tall enough that you can clip the thermometer on it, and you don’t want to spill. Don’t use non-stick. The heat will kill it.
Page 97 1989 version of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 1/2 cup raw peanuts
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, sifted.
Butter 2 large baking sheets; set aside. (sift baking soda and set aside). In saucepan melt butter and then add sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup of water. Cook and stir over medium-high heat to boiling. Clip candy thermometer to side of pan. Cook and stir over medium high heat to 275 degrees Fahrenheit (about 30 minutes). Add nuts; cook and stir to 295 degrees Fahrenheit (about 15 minutes more). Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer.
Quickly sprinkle soda over mixture, stirring constantly. Immediately pour onto prepared sheets. Cook; break into pieces. Store tightly (ziploc bags work fine) makes about 2 1/4 lbs.
Toffee Butter Crunch
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
- 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts in pan. In saucepan melt butter. Add sugar, corn syrup and 3 tablespoons water. Cook and stir over medium-high heat to boiling.
Clip candy thermometer to pan. Cook and stir over medium-high heat to 290 degrees Fahrenheit, soft-crack stage (about 15 minutes). Watch carefully after 280 degrees to prevent scorching. (You only have less than a 30 second window to do this. If you don’t cook it long enough, it won’t be crispy. If you cook it too long, it will be greasy and scorched. Both are disappointing ) Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Let stand 5 minutes or till firm; sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes. When softened, spread chocolate over mixture. Sprinkle with the finely chopped nuts. Chill till firm. Lift candy out of pan; break into pieces. Store tightly covered. Makes about 1 1/4 pounds.
Best of luck to you, my friendly blog reader!
I hope your Holiday is filled with joy and happiness!!