Last updated on April 8th, 2019
Back when I was first getting into cooking, my aunt gave me a board game for foodies. Imagine Cranium except every category has to do with food. One card category involves listing out ingredients one by one while the other team guesses what dish they make up. Now that I cook more often, I’m pretty sure none of these ingredient lists would make an edible dish. Plus, a disproportionate of the cards begin with 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. Whatever you’re making – start with half a container of mayonnaise. No thank you.
Find a recipe that starts with 2 sticks of butter, however, and I’m certain it’s something fantastic. Basically: “this recipe starts with two bricks of gold.” That’s exactly how my mom’s almond English toffee recipe starts and it’s the stuff my dreams are made of.
This is a cherished family recipe that my mom makes over a dozen batches of every Christmas to give to all of her friends, family, and neighbors for the holidays. Pro-tip #1: get on my mom’s good side. It’s her signature holiday treat and everyone looks forward to their bag each December. If there’s one thing you can always count on, it’s mom’s almond toffee for the holidays.
Even though she’s been making this toffee for years, she never taught me how to make it. She was so shocked that I didn’t already have the recipe when I asked for it this year that she dropped everything to drive 3 hours to teach me how to make it (those are her delicate hands modeling the recipe).
Actually she first texted me a picture of the recipe, with scratched out notes written all over it and a glob of peanut butter right in the middle. According to her recipe, you know it’s done when “the mix is EXACTLY the color of Peanut Butter.” Underlined as if it’s one of the ingredients (to be clear: it’s not).
Until this year, I assumed peanut butter was a primary ingredient because she kept the giant jar on the counter during the holidays for color matching. So I texted back a list of questions, the first of which was, “what brand of peanut butter, mom?” (“What’s the Pantone number of the peanut butter?!”)
It’s Jif peanut butter, in case you’re wondering.
Instead of asking you to buy a specific jar of peanut butter to make mom’s toffee, I translated her process into temperature measurements while she made the first batch. Then I made four more batches because…do you really need a reason? IT’S EDIBLE GOLD.
Now that I’ve got the recipe, I’m giving homemade toffee as gifts to all my friends and bringing it to every party, starting with Alanna’s birthday (Pro tip #2: this is how you make friends).
This recipe is a highly addicting, deeply buttery toffee crunch with roasted almonds scattered throughout and a layer of chocolate and walnuts on top. Imagine almond roca, but even better because it’s made with love (and simple ingredients).
I’ve made batches with semi-sweet chocolate and with dark chocolate, and even a batch without chocolate. And if walnuts aren’t your thing, feel free to add chopped almonds on top. This last time, I absent mindedly flip-flopped the almonds and the walnuts for a walnuty toffee with a salted chocolate almond topping and I’m still eating it like crack. Whatever you do, plan to make more than one batch (and wear stretchy pants).
Thanks for reading Snixy Kitchen! To stay up on what’s coming out of my kitchen, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin’, or Pinterest, or subscribe via e-mail to get new recipes right to your inbox. *Do not use mini chocolate chips as the chocolate will melt too fast and won't harden back up at room temperature. I prefer using Ghirardelli chocolate chips as think they look the smoothest when melted on top of this toffee, but any kind will work! **From my experience, it works best if you use a heavy-bottomed stainless steal pot and not an enameled cast-iron pot.
*Do not use mini chocolate chips as the chocolate will melt too fast and won't harden back up at room temperature. I prefer using Ghirardelli chocolate chips as think they look the smoothest when melted on top of this toffee, but any kind will work!
**From my experience, it works best if you use a heavy-bottomed stainless steal pot and not an enameled cast-iron pot.