November 14, 2009

Cashew Toffee - It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Thanksgiving is still a little over two weeks away and I'm already looking ahead to Christmas.  Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, and why wouldn't it be - it's the holiday renowned for  baking.  I'm one of those people who thinks that it's never too early to start the holiday spirit.  I've already got a mini Christmas tree decorated in my office at work and have my  favorite Andy Williams Christmas CD playing on continuous loop.   Call me crazy, it wouldn't be the first time!, but after all, it's the most wonderful time of the year!!!

To celebrate the upcoming festivities I've already started churning out my famous cashew toffee.  I began making this candy a few years ago and the response from family and friends was so overwhelming that it's turned in to a delicious tradition.

The toffee ingredients are simple enough, basically butter, sugar and cashews cooked to a bubbling mass, cooled and then coated with chocolate, but the result is pure heaven.  Just the right amount of sweet and salty juxtaposed with the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate coating.  A good toffee has to taste rich, but also have a crunchy bite.  Cook the mixture too long and you've got burnt sugar, not long enough and you end up with a taffy so chewy that it could yank out your fillings.   Even my longtime dentist Dr. Luke loves this toffee; if that's not the ultimate seal of approval I don't know what is.

This is just the beginning of the many treats I'll be making over the next few weeks..stay tuned!

Cashew Toffee  
(adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan and foil
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons water
2 cups toasted (about 8 ounces) cashews, chopped
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

Butter a 12-by-18-inch baking pan.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, corn syrup, and 3 tablespoons water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat, stir in 1 cup cashews, and pour out into prepared pan, spreading the mixture with the back of a spoon to fill the pan.  Allow to dry.

Using a small offset spatula, quickly spread half the chocolate over candy. Scatter 1/2 cup of the remaining cashews over chocolate. Cover with parchment paper, and place second cutting board on paper. Turn candy over onto second surface. Remove top board and paper, quickly spread candy with remaining chocolate, and scatter with the remaining 1/2 cup cashews. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set chocolate.

Break candy into 2-inch pieces. The candy may be stored in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 1 week; use parchment paper to separate layers.


  1. Anonymous11/27/2009

    I cant wait for x-mas!

  2. Chu Quoc came by 2 nights ago to drop off a phone set for my Grandpa, and some toffee!! My eyes drew to them immediately, I kinda felt bad I forgot my manners and didn't really say hi to Chu Quoc. haha. My mom heard "toffee" and she popped her head out of the kitchen and we both grabbed for the bags of toffee. Her and I can fight over good candy. They were delicious! I really like the almond one- they have a little more crunch to them. Do you use dark chocolate? The thin layer of chocolate greatly complemented the sweetness of the toffee.
    So in short, thanks for the sweets!! Happy Holidays!!


  3. Anonymous1/07/2010

    best toffee i ever had!!! trinh gave me some for christmas. you have the recipe perfected!!! love you blog too. great pictures, and who doesn't like reading about food ;-). ~lori

  4. Anonymous4/01/2011

    Marina brought some of this in to work at Christmas time and it was amazing. I am going to attempt...but was wondering if it would be possible to substitute the cashew nuts with hazelnuts? Would you use the same quantity?

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