Recipe: Pecan Toffee
Join our Test Kitchen Director Robby Melvin as he demonstrates how easy it is to make pecan toffee, one of our favorite Southern sweets. There are so many ways to cook with pecans, especially when it comes to dessert. This pecan toffee is one of the tastiest ways to get nutty pecan flavor in a bite-sized package.
First, line a jellyroll pan with aluminum foil, spray it with cooking spray, and spread a cup of pecans out to fill the pan. In a saucepan on the stove, combine butter, sugar, and water. Bring those ingredients up to a temperature of 310 degrees, which is the correct temperature for a “hard candy stage.” Be sure that you’re stirring constantly, as sugar has the tendency to clump and stick together if left stagnant. This constant stirring, combined with the correct temperature, will create a caramel for our toffee. Robby prefers to stir the mixture with a classic wooden spoon, but you can use a heat-resistant rubber spatula, too. Not only is the temperature important to get to the hard candy stage, but it also indicates what kind of “crack” your toffee is going to have when you break it apart. Once the mixture has achieved a caramel consistency, pour it over the pecans in the jellyroll pan. While the caramel is still hot from the stove, add cut-up bits of chocolate candy on top. They’ll begin to melt and blend with the caramel for a perfect mix of holiday flavors. Allow your toffee to chill for at least 30 minutes before you get to cracking.
Toffee is a great sweet treat for the holidays. Make a couple batches of pecan toffee, bag it up in clear bags with a festive ribbon, and give it to neighbors and hostesses all season long for a thoughtful, homemade gift. And, you can always set out a plate of pecan toffee at a holiday gathering – whether in the living room for pre-dinner grazing or on the dessert table. Toffee pieces are easy to pick up and eat while you’re on the move, so they’re a shoe-in holiday party addition.