My family never ate peanut brittle after the time my mom was making it and the brittle starting spewing all over the kitchen. Cupboards, curtains, floor, my mother. I don't recall it happening, but remember the stories about it. To this day, I've never had a piece of peanut brittle. Perhaps that will be the next candy attempt.
So this is my Toffee. The recipe, all worn and coffee stained, is simple.
2 cups butter (yup, four sticks)
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Combine those ingredients in a heavy pan and heat on medium heat. Once the butter melts, stop stirring. I know, doesn't make sense...that sugar will burn! You will stir occasionally, but the less you stir, the faster the toffee turns dark.
The following pictures show how the color changes in the butter/sugar mixture. Each photo was taken 3 to 5 minutes after the previous:
The recipe calls for the mixture to reach 285 degrees. That is the third photo. Either my candy thermometer was wrong, or I like dark toffee. Probably both. This time, I didn't even use the thermometer. The trick is...as soon as you think it's ready, leave it on for another five minutes. And when you think that is ready, give it another couple minutes. I have taken it off many times too early and the toffee doesn't have the snap, it's more of a crumble.
While the toffee is cooking and you are not stirring (stay away from that spoon!), line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil. I really like using parchment paper, gives the toffee a very smooth bottom, and who doesn't like a smooth bottom???
You can also chop your nuts.
Okay, if you think it's done, and you smell a touch of burning smell, it is probably ready. The sugar will look like lava erupting in little puddles with dark rings around them.
Now pour onto your cookie sheet (make sure it has sides!) and let it set for a bit. Here is the humdinger...add two cups of chocolate chips. BUT wait...I put the chips on too fast and they sunk! See this photo, center piece has the two divots from the chips.
Stick in the refrigerator till all parts are hard. The chocolate will take the longest to harden.
Once this is nice and hard, smack it on the counter. Or gently break it up and put it in a cute dish. Go ahead, after all that waiting you surely deserve a piece.
But don't forget to check your teeth.