- 1-1/2 cups toasted nuts, like pecans or almonds
- 1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Candy thermometer
1. Prepare a baking sheet or 9 x 13 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Coarsely chop the toasted nuts, then scatter them in an even layer all over the foil-covered pan.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water, cubed butter, corn syrup, and salt, and place the pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar and butter dissolve, then wipe down the sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Insert your candy thermometer.
4. Cook the candy, without stirring, until the thermometer reads 285 degrees F (140 C).
5. Once at 285, immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla extract and the baking soda. Stir until the baking soda causes the toffee to foam up and become a lighter, opaque color.
6. Pour the toffee in an even layer over the nuts on the prepared pan. Try not to spread it too much with a spatula, as the more you work it, the more you'll eliminate the air bubbles that give it a light and crispy texture.
7. Let the toffee cool completely at room temperature, for at least 1 hour. Once cool and set, break it into small pieces by hand. Store Brown Sugar Toffee in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. If you live in a humid environment, it might get soft and sticky after a few days.
Chocolate variation: If you want to add chocolate to your toffee, have 1 cup of chopped chocolate prepared. Once you have poured the toffee onto the nuts in the pan, let it set for 1 minute, then sprinkle the top of the hot toffee with the chopped chocolate. Allow it to sit for another minute, while the heat of the toffee melts the chocolate, then use a spatula to carefully spread the chocolate into an even layer over the entire surface. If you'd like, you can sprinkle the top of the chocolate with more chopped nuts. Let the toffee and chocolate cool and harden completely before breaking it into pieces as described above.