Thursday, December 16, 2010

Grandma Utahna Felix's English Toffee



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I have been making this toffee and giving it to friends and family for years.  It is simply delicious and is the main goodie that I make at Christmas.  Recently, my sister Jacqueline (Purple Chocolat Home) and I had a day of making toffee at my home.  Do not be intimidated by making toffee; this is really the most easy candy to make --- and the most delicious.  It is a vintage recipe of my husband's Grandma Utahna.  I guess you could guess that she was born in Utah and named after her home state.

Utahna, Leo, and LaVar Felix in the 1930's


This is so delicious that sometimes I have made up to 26 batches to give away to family and friends  at Christmas!


I am giving you the recipe  as it was given to me.  Although I use a thermometer with most other candy, I don't with this recipe.  Also, I always use milk chocolate chips.  The brand I love to use is not available anymore.  Jaqueline brought three kinds of chocolate chips and I closed my eyes -- yes, a true blind test -- when tasting.  The Ghiardelli milk chocolate tasted the best -- the chips were sweet and creamy.  Do NOT use margarine!  I always use salted butter.

Can you see me in the bottom right Christmas ball?  Jacqueline is pictured on the bottom left.


Recipe for Utahna's English Toffee

1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 cup toasted pecans broken in pieces--Toast in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
Milk chocolate chips

Place toasted pecans in the bottom of  8 x8 pyrex pan.  Put butter, sugar, and water in medium heavy sauce pan and cook at high temperature.  I always break up my butter in small pieces in the sauce pan.   Stir with wooden spoon throughout the cooking time.  The mix should always appear fluffy at all times.  Cook until mixture turns an amber color, starts to leave the sides of the pan, and is slightly smoking, take off heat and turn immediately over onto prepared nuts. The cooking time is relatively short, depending on your stove, approximately 7 to 8 minutes with a gas stove and 10-11 minutes with an electrice stove.  These are just approximate times.   Let toffee cool for 8 to 10 minutes.  Then sprinkle with milk chocolate chips.  When chips are melted, swirl around with knife.  Let chocolate dry -- this takes several hours.  When chocolate is dry, turn over toffee on wax paper and break into pieces.

Candy Making Notes:
While stirring, use a wet pastry brush or clean, wet dishcloth to wash down the sides of the pan to dissolve any undissolved sugar crysals.  If you skip this step, the candy might sugar.  Also when you pour the toffee mixture on the pecans, do NOT scrape the pan.  If you do scrape the pan, this could also cause the mixture to sugar. If you are making more than one batch, make sure that your pan and spoon are clean of sugar crystals.  If it DOES sugar, it tastes wonderful broken up and served on a good quality vanilla ice cream.  Also, make sure that your toffee is truly an amber color before you take it off the stove.

 

41 comments:

Julie Harward said...

This looks wonderful. I make this every year too, one of my favorite candies! Come say hi :D

SavannahGranny said...

Joni, This looks and sounds so good. I absolutely love toffee. I just hope I can really make it. I am going to try. I still have to finish decorating. Just can't seem to get caught up. Merry Christmas, Ginger

La said...

I love English Toffee. YUM!

Kelly Massman said...

Sounds delicious!

Lisa said...

YUM! Looks delicious! It's so special that this recipe was passed down to younger generations.

Cathy said...

This is one of my favorite holiday treats. It will be so hard not to scape the pan to get every speck of candy into the dish. I've had toffee sugar before. Maybe that's why.

Judy said...

I was just thinking about making some English Toffee yesterday. I'll have to try your Grandma's recipe. I'm sure it's fabulous!!! Thanks

June@I will craft said...

Sounds good. It is nice to see a recipe without having to use a candy thermometer which I don't have. I might have to try this one.

anniebakes said...

I'm so glad I found you a few weeks, ago, you have really gotten me in the Christmas Spirit!

anne
www.anniebakes.net

Holly said...

26 batches!!! Wow thats a lot of toffee-bet all the fam was really happy!!!
This looks really yummy:)

Carol at Serendipity said...

This looks absolutely delicious. I think toffee is my favorite.

Carol

Elle Belles Bows said...

The recipe looks yummy but I love that you shared the beautiful family picture too! Kerri

Jeni said...

Help! I make this same recipe every year and ruin every other batch and don't know why! I have looked up the science behind making toffee and still I ruin every other batch. I read that you have to melt the butter over low heat or it will separate at the end and that's what has happened so I try that and it still doesn't work. You wrote that you just throw it all in over high heat and stir until it's done. I tried to wipe the insides of the pan but just kept burning my fingers through the cloth. It's so delicious when it does work that I just keep trying and failing and it's so frustrating! I'd love any advice you could give. I probably just need to actually watch someone make it.

Wendy said...

Thank you! this sounds and looks delicious!

Jacqueline said...

I taught 5 women how to do this yesterday. Of course, the first batch, mine sugared. After that we were extra careful to wash down the sides, almost double and no one's sugared. They all loved it. Thanks for teaching me. I think I am up to 12 batches. It really is quick. Utahna was very pretty!

susan said...

Sounds like you have this down to a fine art--Your friends are lucky to be the recipients of your labor!! What a fun day cooking with your sister! Your grandmother was a very pretty woman--love the dress!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I copied the recipe when I saw it on Jacqueline's post ;) It sounds wonderful but I would have to use dark chocolate - my fave.

Wonderful photo of your husband's grandparents! Can you imagine being named Wisconsinana? LOL.

Thelma-Art said...

Yummy!! They look delicious!!

DANA said...

I found you on Tater Tots and Jello! I am loving your blog, I saw it before, but now I am hooked! This looks delish and my mouth is watering! I would like to invite you to my $50 American Express giveaway and a linky party I have, all going on this week! Happy Holidays! Keep up the great blogging!
-Dana Jean

http://danajeanward.blogspot.com/2010/12/50-american-express-giveaway-ends.html

Valerie said...

I have never tried making toffee before, but I love to eat it! This looks do-able for me.

Samantha said...

I love toffee! Yours looks so thick! I am going to have to add this to the list of "must try recipes" this year!
Thanks for sharing!

Arlana said...

Oh this looks just like my moms reciepe. She was also from Utah. I will have to compare reciepes. She was the best candy maker ever thanks for the memories.

Renna said...

I just discovered this recipe (and your blog!) via pinterest. Am going shopping for the ingredients today! Am a little nervous about knowing exactly when to take it off the heat (haven't always had the best of luck with candy), but will give it a whirl. If mine turns out as good as yours, I'll be making for Christmas gifts for friends & neighbors. Thanks for sharing a family recipe! :-)

* Courtney * said...

I have a grandma named Utahna!! I haver never heard that name except for her! Now I have to try this toffee!

morgansmom said...

This recipe intrigued me because my husband's grandmother was also named Utahna! We will be trying this one out!

Nicole said...

I came across your recipe on Pinterest yesterday so I gave it try tonight and I'm so glad that I did! It's absolutely wonderful and will make an excellent addition to my Christmas tins this year! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting the tips, they really helped me out. First time I made it, it came out perfect. I may never make xmas cookies again, I may just make this!

la petite fashionista said...

just stumbled upon this recipe on pinterest-- i am also a felix! small world!

Chelle said...

I can't wait to try it. Thanks so much for sharing!

Jonny and Alli Katseanes said...

I just made this and it turned out perfect. SO delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I have made at least 7 batches, I love it and so does everyone else, the only one that sugared was when I didn't cook it long enough. I don't wipe down the sides at all and I stir slow and watch for the smoke. It's great thank you so much for posting it.

Stacy@{share and remember} said...

I tried this tonight. It looks like it turned out but it's too soon to try it! I love your old pictures, very neat. Utahna - what a unique name, very cool. She was beautiful. Thanks for sharing - found you through Pinterest.

Anonymous said...

I made this last night with almonds instead of pecans and LOVED it. My favorite toffee was Enstroms and I must say this recipe is very close to theirs. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas!

Sweets said...

I just made this and it is delicious! It was my first time making toffee and I pulled it off. Thanks so much for the amazing recipe! :)

Anonymous said...

Just made this today and it is DELICIOUS! I have never made any kind of candy or toffee before and this was super easy! Thanks!

Cindy said...

I made this for the first time today for Christmas. Not only is it very easy to make, It's delicious. I could eat the whole 8x8 pan myself! Thank you so much for sharing. I will be making this often and will never be able to eat Heath bars again.

janie said...

I am so going to try this, we love toffee!! Janie

Gillen Gang said...

This is the best toffee I have ever made AND I have made a lot of toffee over the years. The recipe was written clearly, easy to follow and gave great tips. I did not brush down the sides of the pot because I could not find my brush (5 year old to blame) but it came out beautifully anyway! I will definitely be making this again and again. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

Jules said...

Just found this via Pinterest, and am so excited to make as our Christmas Eve treat for Santa ;) My only question is this: Approximately how much chocolate chips will I need to use? 2 cups? A bag? Thanks for sharing :)

Red Couch Recipes said...

Jules, sorry I couldn't get back to you before Christmas Eve. Hope you find this reply. I use less than one half of a bag of chocolate chips. If you use more, it can fall off the toffee. Hope you made this for your Christmas Eve treat and that it went well. Joni

LE DeLiguori said...

I Love English Toffee and even though I am dieting, I gave in and made it. It is so YUMMY! Came out perfectly, and after I poured the pot of toffee onto the toasted pecans in the pyrex pan, I took a spatula and scraped every remaining bit of toffee from the pot onto a pyrex plate. (Kinda like licking the bowl) A little surprise for my son when he gets home & dessert for later! Thank You.

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