I’m slightly obsessed with toffee lately. It stems from my love of caramel. It started with these chocolate salted caramel cookies (which I promise to post soon), matured with these toffee sugar babies from the Savannah style bakers at the farmers market, and grew into ice cream.
Toffee is really easy to make. It’s just sugar, butter and water. Throw in a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla if you want. It’s pretty foolproof. Except the part where you have to soak the pan for a week to get it clean. That part is not foolproof. That part is bad news.
You don’t even need a candy thermometer. It you’re scared of molten bubbly sugar go ahead and use one, but it’s not required. You can tell when it’s ready. Just make sure you have a greased cookie sheet ready to go. The larger the cookie sheet, the thinner the toffee and vice-versa.
This toffee is uber-versatile. You could smother it in chocolate and almonds. Throw it in ice cream like I did, or bury it in cookies like I plan on doing this weekend. You can also just put it in the cupboard and hope your husband doesn’t gobble it all up before you can even make the cookies. The guy who told me he doesn’t like toffee sure likes to eat a lot of it.
Toffee is super fun to make. I love watching the sugar melt, then boil, then start to caramelize and finally pour into a perfectly smooth surface on the cookie sheet. Once it hardens, cracking it up is super fun too. I used a heavy handled butter knife and just tapped it until it cracked. Then I put it between parchment and used a rolling pin to get it nice and small for ice cream.
And then I threw it into maple ice cream. This was a brilliant idea. The strong flavor of really good maple syrup partnered with the crunch of slightly salty toffee is heavenly. It reminds me of a Butterfinger candy bar. And Bart Simpson. Ok that’s the Butterfinger not the ice cream.
The ice cream did get a touch icy this time. I think next time I’ll cut the maple syrup down to 1/2 cup and add some liquor for better texture. This still didn’t stop my husband and I from eating an entire tub in one day. Don’t worry there’s still another tub of it too.
1 stick plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
Pinch of salt
1. Grease a cookie sheet liberally with butter. Add all ingredients to medium saucepan. Turn heat on medium high. Stirring constantly bring mixture to a boil. Stop stirring and allow to boil until mixture reaches brittle crack stage. This will be approximately 300 degrees on a candy thermometer, or when a bit of candy dropped into cold water turns into threads. My candy looked about as dark as it could before it would start to scorch. Don’t worry if the color isn’t even all over.
2. Remove pan from heat. Gently swirl pan to mix candy thoroughly and pour onto greased cookie sheet. Let cool completely.
Maple Ice Cream
A note on this recipe: This is what I did, like I said I would cut down the maple syrup next time so play around when adding it. Also try adding a tablespoon of a liquor of your choice.
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup maple syrup
6 egg yolks.
1/2 cup toffee bits
1. Heat cream, maple syrup and sugar in a medium saucepan until just simmering.
2. Prepare an ice bath.
3. In another bowl whisk egg yolks. Slowly add hot cream mixture to temper the eggs, whisking constantly, until cream is completely incorporated. Return to pan on medium heat. Cook approximately 2-3 minutes until mixture just starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon.
4. Immediately strain mixture into a glass bowl over ice bath, whisking occasionally until mixture is completely cooled. Add liquor. Transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions. Once it reaches soft serve consistency add toffee bits. Freeze at least 4 hours before serving.