I have been into making candy this holiday season. I made it last year as well but this year I feel like I really know what I am doing. The recipe I follow was so vague, I decided to make it step by step with photos so you can easily follow the directions and not be left wondering like I was.
I made mine two different ways, the 1st time I put half the crushed almonds in the mixture, did the chocolate then sprinkled the remaining nuts on top. The second time I put all the crushed almonds in the mixture, did dark chocolate, then added sea salt on top. Both were excellent.
You don't really need a candy thermometer either, you can use an instant read and just check every few minutes or wing it and use your judgement and call it good when it turns a nice nutty brown.
2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips or dark chocolate
1 cup finely chopped almonds, toasted (I used Smokehouse Almonds)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
Sea Salt (optional)
1. Line the bottom and sides of a 15-in. x 10 in. x 1-in. pan with foil, Silpat or use a non stick pan.
2. In a large heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add the sugar, water, Vanilla and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 290° (soft-crack stage). It will look like this at the beginning. The entire process will take about 12-15 minutes.
It will turn whiteish in color and bubble, stir occasionally and test the temperature if you wish.
As it gets closer to the 295 degrees, it will start turning brownish
Be sure and have your nuts at the ready, this consistency is about right, before you take it off the heat, add your nuts and stir, stir, stir till they are well incorporated. Optionally you can put in half and then save the rest for the top of the chocolate.
3. Pour into prepared pan. Cool for 4 minutes
Sprinkle with chocolate chips; let stand for 3 minutes. Spread melted chocolate evenly over candy. It may act like it is not going to spread, but keep spreading it around and it will continue to melt naturally.
Sprinkle with almonds; (either use the other half if you chose not to mix it all in or you can use Sea Salt which is what I did on the below batch). (press down lightly). Cool until chocolate is firm. Break into bite-size pieces. Store in airtight containers. I use Ziplock bags.
Final Product, two different kinds of Toffee. One with Smokehouse Almonds, Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt, the other with Smokehouse Almonds, Milk Chocolate, topped with more Smokehouse Almonds.