How to Make Toffee | My Favorite Holiday Treat!

Hey I’m John , and today on KitchenTipsy we’re making the best toffee ever. So let’s get started.


  • ▢Medium pot
  • ▢9×9 baking dish
  • ▢Wooden spoon
  • ▢Parchment paper


  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 226g
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 200g
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped pecans for the topping, plus sea salt if desired

To make this delicious recipe, you’ll need chopped pecans or almonds, sugar, vanilla, butter, salt, chocolate chips and water. First off, grab a pair of scissors. Lining a nine by nine inch baking dish with parchment paper. You know when you’re in the kitchen, and you’re making a recipe that you’re so excited about? That’s today for me.

I want one cup of chopped pecans right on the bottom here. Just spread them out. And I gave these a quick toast in the oven, it really brings out that nutty flavor, and just makes this that much more amazing. Set this aside, and now we’re gonna make our caramel. Don’t panic about the caramel, it’s really easy. One cup, 200 grams of granulated sugar.

One cup of butter right into the pot. I’m just cutting it into pieces so it melts really fast. Chop it up, put it right in. That’s one cup, 226 grams. I’m also adding half a teaspoon of salt. There we go. It’s gonna really wake that caramel up. And the last ingredient is one quarter cup, 60 mils, water. Exotic water.

We’re gonna set this over medium heat, and I’m gonna grab a candy thermometer. I’ll add a link for this in my description box. This will save your life in the kitchen. It’s a Thermapen. So we’re gonna get this to 300 degrees nice and fast. Medium heat. We’re just gonna stir frequently. This butter is gonna melt into the sugar. Oh my God, butter, sugar, that’s gonna be so good. This toffee is gonna be 1,000 times better than anything you could buy at the store. It just melts in your mouth with the perfect crunch, and that little bit of salt, and just the right amount of chocolate, and the nuts.

Ah, it’s so good. So I’m just stirring this frequently over medium heat. You’re gonna check the temperature later on, once it’s totally melted and bubbling away. Right now, it’s at a balmy 112 degrees. I want it to get to the hard crack stage, so it’s gonna be a nice hard, crunchy caramel, not soft and chewy.

Whenever you’re heating sugar and water, you’ll see the temperature increase pretty quickly, and then it’ll plateau around 200, and increase slowly as all that water evaporates off, and the sugar gets hotter and hotter and hotter. This is all melty now, so we just have to stir occasionally, keep an eye on it, and have your vanilla handy. We’re gonna pour a teaspoon of vanilla in right after it’s the right temperature, and then pour it right into our prepared pan.

Everything should be ready because it sets up pretty quick. Look at this, it’s bubbling away. See right now a lot of the water is going. It’s in the 200’s. When you’re making a caramel, one thing I can tell you is get a pot that is (spoon banging on pot) nice and thick on the side. A thicker side will distribute that heat evenly, and your caramel’s not gonna burn.

Just FYI, it got to 200 so quick, and now it’s been stuck in the 220s for a while, so it’s gonna take some time for this to heat up. If you don’t have a candy thermometer you buy one. But if you can’t find it, or you just haven’t gotten around to it yet, you can use some cold water to determine the temperature.

One, listen to your caramel. When those bubbles get bigger and slower, it’s getting closer to the hard crack stage. You’re also gonna see the color change. But then, just get a drop of the caramel, and put it in your water, and grab it. It just feels like sap. This is the softball stage. So it’s getting close to softball. When it gets to 300, it gets to the hard crack stage, so if you drop some in, it’ll turn into a little bead, a hard bead, hard, hard crack.

That’s it. This is getting close. So I’m listening to my caramel, it’s slowing down. The bubbles are getting bigger. Come and take a look, the color is getting a little bit more caramel looking. I’m off heat, I’m adding a teaspoon of vanilla right now carefully. Okay, and now let’s go put this into our dish. Okay, so let’s pour that caramel in. Oh my gosh, do you see this? Okay, now just spread it out so that it’s covering all those beautiful pecans.

This is the fun part. Just set this aside for two minutes to cool a little bit, ’cause 300 degrees is very hot. And then you’re gonna see what happens next, it’s an easy, amazing magic. Cool down. All right, so you can use any chocolate chips you love. This is the fun part. Now we’re gonna sprinkle those chocolate chips on top, and just sprinkle them evenly over the surface because no one wants to melt chocolate, it’s not fun. So just sprinkle over the top into a nice even layer. And right now your toffee is still gonna be soft, that’s okay, it’s continuing to harden. Now we’re just gonna cover this in foil. You could also use a baking sheet if you don’t wanna waste the foil. We’re gonna cover this in foil, and let it cool down so the chocolate melts, and just becomes amazing. It’ll get spread out, but then we top it with some more chopped pecans.

So let’s just get a little handful of pecans. I’m gonna give them a fine chop, ’cause this is our garnish on top of the delicious, delicious toffee. All right, I think it’s been four minutes, let’s lift the foil up. Come here, take a look at this. Look, these look like normal chocolate chips, don’t they? Watch this. That’s the magic. This is all you have to do now. Isn’t this so much easier than melting chocolate in the microwave or anything? The beauty, the wonder of melted chocolate. Just so easy. Why have you not made this recipe before? This will be one of your go to favorite delicious things to eat. It’s my fault. Give that chocolate a little bit of a swirl, just so we see some pattern in there.

One of the most important things is not to use too much chocolate. You don’t wanna have too much chocolate in this because it really will dominate the toffee, and you wanna let the toffee shine through. It’s so amazing. I feel like all my UK peeps need to chime in here. All the Australia pees, come here, say something in the comments, let everyone know.

Right now I’m sprinkling on just a little bit of these pecans. Now, the hardest part is to set this aside, leave it for four hours or so, and just let it cool down completely so you can break it apart. If you’re in a hurry, which I understand, you could pop it into the fridge, and it’ll be setting up much faster. The final optional touch is a very conservative sprinkle of beautiful flaked sea salt. you see that big piece? These are giant snowflakes of salt, and the nice thing is that they’re not very salty, so you’re just getting a little bit of salt, but it’s a big piece so you notice it, if that makes sense.

Totally worth while. Sprinkle it on top. It gives you some contrast, and just wakes everything up. So pretty. Once your chocolate’s set, pop it right out of the pan. Get a big knife, and give it a chop. You could break it into pieces too, but this will give you a really nice clean piece full of chocolate. Look at this amazingness. Come in here, take a look at that. You’ve gotta make this recipe, it’s the absolute best. That is perfection. If you like this recipe, check out my holiday playlist.

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