Each November I look forward to my cousin Daisy's toffee bark. She has been making it every holiday time since I was a kid and it's easy to say I've never eaten a better toffee bark than this one. Maybe it's the fact that it is wrapped so snugly in saran and gently placed inside of a rully cute round holiday tin. Or maybe it's the fact that it has the perfect ratio of chocolate to toffee. Regardless, this recipe is a must for anyone who is looking for a fabulous holiday gift for friends and family. Wrap them like my cousin Daisy in saran in a tin, or alternatively in clear cellophane bags with a ribbon. Oh my gahd I love this toffee barkkkkk*
*When I made this last night for my girlfriends, they responded at first with blank stares which, I will not lie, scared me for a bit, but soon after rejoiced in all its yummy glory, stating, "this is culinary heaven." Thanks, Daisy!
For the toffee:
2 sticks butter
1 cup granulated sugar
6 standard-sized semi-sweet chocolate bars (~1.5 oz each)
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup crushed walnuts (the kind that specify for baking)
Have everything measured and prepared before starting, as it cooks quickly. Break up the chocolate bars, and put them in a bowl. Set aside an ungreased cookie sheet.
Melt butter in medium size pan over low to moderate heat. Be careful not to burn. Once melted, add the sugar and almonds. Stir almost constantly until mixture blends together and turns a caramel color. This may take 10 or more minutes, depending on your stove. When in doubt, it's better to keep it cooking. Take it off when you see smoke rising off the bottom of the pan when you are mixing it. Dump entire contents of pan onto the cookie sheet. Now you have to work fast, before it sets up! Take a big metal spoon, and smooth out mixture as flat as you can without having any holes. It will not cover entire cookie sheet, but keep pressing for the thickness of say, sugar cut-out cookies. Then, quickly place broken up bits of the 6 chocolate bars, and wait for them to melt. This should take only a few minutes. Spread the now melted chocolate evenly over the toffee. Once the chocolate is spread, sprinkle the walnuts on top.
Allow time for the chocolate to harden before you break it up into pieces. Once it is cooled, break off a big chunk, placing it onto a cutting board. There, you can further break it into smaller pieces.
Update: caramelizing sugar is tricky. This webpage will guide you through the steps, complete with pictures!