English Toffee Recipe

December 18, 2012 by  

Who Doesn’t Love English Toffee?

by Amy Trauntvein

English Toffee

The holidays are right around the corner and for me that means baking and lots of it, and homemade holiday candy tops the list!  Peanut butter balls, dipped pretzels, almond joys, and caramels, clusters, turtles….  But my favorite homemade treat is my grandma’s recipe of homemade English Toffee.  For years I  just let my mom and grandma make it while I enjoyed eating it thinking it was WAY too complicated and difficult to make, but then my husband and I found ourselves moving across the country with our then 3 (now 4) children and if I wanted any of this wonderfully delicious treat at Christmas time, it was now up to me to make it.  ACK!!  I thought for sure I was going to ruin it the first time I tried, but you know what?  It really was easier than I thought and it turned out perfect!  So now I’m going to give YOU the recipe and show you how you can make and enjoy your very own English Toffee and wow your friends with your culinary smarts!  And one other awesome thing about this recipe, you don’t need a candy thermometer to make it!  Score!  Ready?  Here we go!

English Toffee

  • 2 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 lb butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup


  • 12 oz chocolate chips or good quality chocolate chopped up
  • 2 cups chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts or pecans) Purely optional.

Yes, 1 lb of butter is correct.  I never said it was light and healthy, did I? But there IS one secret to successful toffee and that is do not leave it alone.  Period.  You need stay at the stove because it must be constantly stirred and watched. If you think you can run upstairs and fold a load of laundry or go answer the phone while it cooks, before you know it, you’ve got a big burned mess.  It turns quickly and you need to be present.

First, you need to get your topping ready before you start cooking the toffee.  Chop the nuts, I used pecans for this recipe.  I chopped one cup more finely than the other for the topping.  One cup will go into the toffee (if you desire) and one cup will go on top of the toffee and chocolate.  Take one cup of nuts (the coarser chopped) and sprinkle onto an un-buttered cookie sheet

English Toffee

Chop up your chocolate and toss into a microwave safe bowl. Or if you are using chocolate chips, do nothing.  Here’s my chopped chocolate and the 5 lbs. of chocolate I buy every year to make candy.

English Toffee

My daughter wasn’t real happy about modeling it for me.  I really do go through almost all of it every Christmas making candy so it’s worth it to me to buy good quality chocolate.  No, we don’t eat it all ourselves.  I give most of my treats away to lucky recipients for the holidays!

English Toffee

Now you’re ready to start cooking!  Melt butter in a large non-stick pot on med/med high heat (do not brown).  Add sugar, water and corn syrup and mix well.

English Toffee
Bring to a rolling boil and continue stirring.  This is what is should look like.  I’m showing you so you can see the difference between the color of when it starts and and when it is finished…

English Toffee

Continue to boil while stirring until it turns the color of a brown paper bag (about 15 minutes).  See the bag and the toffee?  At this point it will start to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Let it cook for another 2 minutes stirring constantly.

English Toffee

Take off heat and pour onto the cookie sheet.  I forgot to sprinkle mine with the nuts so I poured them over the top and pressed them into the toffee.  It still worked just fine.

English Toffee

Now for the chocolate.  If you are using chocolate chips, just pour the chips evenly onto the hot toffee and let melt.  If you are using chopped chocolate, toss into the microwave and heat in 30 second increments on high while stirring in between until melted (it took me 60 seconds total).  Pour chocolate onto (still hot)toffee.  Spread chocolate evenly and top with remaining nuts.  Let cool completely.

English Toffee

Once cooled, break into pieces, enjoy the deliciousness and bask in the glow of the compliments you will receive!

English Toffee

Thanks for joining me and I hope this tutorial had helped you get over any qualms you may have about candy making. It really is easier than you may think!  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Love to all!  ~Amy






I have been married for 22 years to my awesome hubby, Todd and we have 4 equally awesome kids who keep my young! Our favorite thing to do together is travel. I enjoy gardening and puttering around my yard. I am very active in my church and am currently serving the children, and I love volunteering at my kids’ schools doing whatever I can to help the teachers and staff.

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5 Responses to “English Toffee Recipe”
  1. Natalie says:

    I’ve never tried making it, but now maybe I’ll give it a shot!

  2. Amy says:

    im struggling. I’ve made this twice now and it’s soooooo chewy. What am I doing wrong?

  3. Keisa says:

    Sounds like a great recipe. I see you didn’t use a candy thermomoter, do you have any idea on a candy thermometer what degree you would cook it at? Most recipes I see say 298 or 300

  4. Joyce says:

    Amy it’s chewy because of temp cooked to.

  5. Heather says:

    Mine was very chewy, too! Please advise as to if a candy thermometer is needed and if so, what temp to cook to…

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