Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Friday, December 27, 2013

English Toffee

I’m not a big cookie baker so the likelihood of warm cookies in the shape of pine trees decorated with red and green sprinkles showing up on a platter was not likely to happen.  Needless to say, Betsy was bummed that baked goods were not going to be on her holiday menu.  Instead, I was more interested in making candy, spurred by a recent trip to the grocery store when a Heath bar fell in the basket unbeknownst to me.  So I set off to find a toffee recipe and happened upon one that was easy and delicious.    

When the toffee was ready to be eaten, I protected it like a momma cat with teeth and claws and, once again, Betsy was bummed when she found only a small smidgen was for her.  My plan was to give the toffee to the park office staff and spread some holiday cheer to those working over the holiday.  She played the role of happy elf during the transfer of sweetness to the staff but made me promise I would make more for her.  I must admit I too wanted some more so I happily obliged her request.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼  cup water
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • ¾  cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely toasted almonds (or pecans)
  • sea salt (optional)


  1. In heavy saucepan, combine butter, sugar, water, and salt.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches the hard-crack stage (300°F).
  2. Immediately pour into ungreased 13"x 9" sheet pan.  Cool the toffee until hard.
  3. Place chocolate chips in a metal bowl placed over a sauce pan with water and melt over simmering water.  Pour melted chocolate over cooled toffee and sprinkle with toasted almonds and/or sea salt.  (If using sea salt, make sure the chocolate is cooled so the salt does not dissolve.)  
  4. Cool toffee and chocolate at room temperature for 2-3 hours or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Break into pieces and enjoy.

WARNING:  This is addicting and not very good for you . . . but you should make it anyway.  And best to do it before you have to make the New Year's resolution because that will make you feel really guilty.


  1. Yum! I'll have to try this recipe! I made peanut brittle this year and peppermint bark. Like you - I had to get it into the gift bags quick to keep from 'oversampling'.
    As usual, your pictures are so good I can almost taste the toffee from here!

  2. That was "sweet" of you to make treats for the park staff. And thanks for the health warning, which I'm blatantly going to ignore... :cD


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