This hazelnut-crunch toffee is buttery and spread into a thin layer. Unlike other thick toffee that is difficult to bite into without fear of chipping a tooth, this one easily snaps once bitten. It’s coated with a thin layer of dark chocolate on both sides, enveloping it in a rich, deep chocolate flavor. This recipe requires the use of a candy thermometer. They are affordable and available at most supermarkets and stores that carry kitchen goods. Candy thermometers are easy to use. Simply clip it onto the side of the pot and all that is needed is for one to monitor the temperature as it rises. Making candy requires certain specific temperatures to be reached in order for it to achieve the proper firmness. As the sugar mixture cooks, the water evaporates, and the sugar concentrates at the temperature rises. Toffee is cooked to the hard-crack stage, giving it its signature “snap” and “crack.”
1 lb of toffee
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with a nonstick Silpat or parchment paper.
- On a separate baking sheet, place hazelnuts and transfer to the oven to lightly roast for 10 minutes. Set on cooling rack to cool. Rub hazelnuts together between your fingers, or place in a clean kitchen towel to rub together, to remove the skins. Place skinned nuts in a food processor and grind until fine or chop with a large knife until fine on a cutting board.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter. Add the water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Over medium-high heat, whisking continuously, cook sugar mixture until it reaches 325°F on a candy thermometer (about 10 minutes).
- Remove toffee from heat and immediately whisk in vanilla extract. The mixture will bubble up when the vanilla is added, so take care when whisking in. Immediately pour out onto prepared baking sheet. Using an offset spatula, or the back of a spoon, lightly spread out toffee until evenly thin (about 1/4" thick). Let cool on a cooling rack.
- Place dark chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and heat just until chips are mostly melted, then stir to incorporate the small unmelted bits. This will help to keep the chocolate in temper and provide a firm setting of the chocolate. Spread half of the chocolate onto the surface of the toffee. Sprinkle chocolate with half of the chopped hazelnuts. Once chocolate has set, flip over and repeat on the remaining side. Allow chocolate to set completely before handling.
- With your hands, break apart toffee into small pieces. Serve and enjoy or place into bags for gifting. Store hazelnut-crunch toffee in an airtight container for up to one week.
Recipe by Teresa Floyd
Teresa Floyd is a Kansas City-based pastry chef, freelance photographer, and food writer. Her work has been featured on Food52, TODAY Food, Feast Magazine-Midwest, Edible Kansas City, and is an editor for the online cooking publication feedfeed. She is also the creator of Now, Forager—a pastry blog featuring seasonal pastries and confections. Visit her at now-forager.com and on Instagram @now_forager.