Sweets are not my speciality, that is for sure. For instance, I recently made what sounded like a great recipe for what I might call a cross between a cookie and a candy and lets just say, while the intent was good, they came out subpar. But I am not one to give up so I figured try again with a toffee recipe.
These are very good, but I will tell you, cooking sugar is really tricky. I adapted mine from a recipe that called for the sugar to get to 305 degrees Fahrenheit (the hard crack stage). Let me tell you, you cannot let it go even a fraction of a degree more than that or you will have something that tastes like burned sugar. I say that because, I know. I did it.
I got a new candy thermometer for Christmas. The way you read it is slightly different than my old one and when I made this the first time I believe accidentally misread the thermometer and let the sugar go an extra five degrees. Apparently, that is a lot when it comes to cooking sugar! While the result was edible it was not perfect.
So consider yourself warned-- this is a very exact science project! Pay attention :)
Chocolate Pecan Toffee
1 cup vegan butter
1 cup organic unbleached sugar
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
8 oz vegan chocolate
3/4 cup pecans finely chopped
Toast the pecans in a skillet on the stove over medium heat for a few minutes, until the pecans are fragrant. Set aside.
Make a ten inch square shell out of aluminum foil, allowing for 1" sides. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.
In a sauce pan add the sugar, vegan butter and water. Using a candy thermometer let the mixture cook until exactly 305 degrees Fahrenheit, the 'hard crack' stage. Watch it carefully, you cannot let the mixture get above 305 degrees.
When the mixture reaches 305 remove from the heat and add the vanilla and salt and stir. Pour into the tin foil shell. The mixture will spread, do not worry if it does not reach the sides. Allow to cool for at least 45 minutes or until hardened and cooled completely.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate over medium heat. When very smooth and melted pour over the top of the toffee mixture. Use an icing spreader or or knife to ensure the chocolate covers the toffee.
Sprinkle the nuts on top, pressing down slightly to ensure they adhere.
Place in the refrigerator until fully cooled. When ready to serve, break into single serving sized pieces.