This is my mom's recipe that she has made for years. She makes it every Christmas and gives and it is just a part of my childhood. I love English Toffee because it has that almost burnt flavor and it is crisp and just slightly sticks in your teeth (if you make it right). Candy can be tricky because you have to know about the different stages. Soft ball, hard ball, hard crack, etc. A good definition of all of these stages can be found here. Toffee is cooked to a higher temperature so that it reaches the hard-crack stage. If you don't have a candy thermometer, which I didn't have until this year, you can test your candy by dripping a little of the mixture into a cup of cold water. When it is crunchy it is ready.
My original recipe looks like this
1 pound butter
2 cups sugar
2 Tbls. water
Cook over high heat.
Color of a new penny
Pour in pan.
Melt chocolate, pour over toffee. Nuts.
I think I will give a little more instruction here.
1 pound butter (I use salted)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbls water
1 pound milk chocolate, chopped
1 cup finely chopped almonds (I used roasted salted and my mom always uses smoked)
Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with foil and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over med. low heat. When melted, add the sugar and water. Turn the heat to med. high and stir until sugar dissolves. The mixture will begin to bubble. Continue to stir until it reaches hard crack stage (305F on a candy thermometer). It really is about the color of a new penny.
Immediately remove from heat and our into prepared cookie sheet and spread evenly with a wooden spoon.
In a microwave, melt the chocolate in 30 second increments until it is fully melted. Pour over the toffee mixture and spread to cover evenly. Sprinkle with the chopped almonds.
Let stand until it is completely cooled. Break into pieces.