Daryl’s Holiday Toffee

Daryl’s Holiday Toffee

Daryl’s Holiday Toffee 2560 1936 Daryl Duarte

Daryl’s Holiday Toffee

This is a delicious toffee that I make during the holiday season. I have made as many as 5 batches in one year. Bring it to parties, make small gift bags for friends, and put it out on your dessert table for a perfect finale to a festive celebration. And the fun continues - I collect the broken leftovers in one container – and save for mixing into ice cream, blend into bread puddings, and trifles!


  • 1 lb. of brown sugar
  • ½ lb. of butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp baking soda, sifted to remove lumps
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 12 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
  • 8 oz slivered almonds


  • Melt the butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan. Add the water and brown sugar and mix with a spatula until the mixture is starting to gently bubble at the edges. The sugar and butter should be evenly mixed. Place a candy thermometer into the mixture and fix it to the side of the pan.
  • Over medium heat, bring the mixture just to 285 degrees. Turn the heat off, and quickly add the sifted baking soda to the mixture. Stir the soda into the hot sugar and stir rapidly, but carefully to prevent splashing. Add the vanilla, stir again until incorporated.
  • Pour the mixture out onto a 12 x 18-inch inch baking pan with 1-inch sides. Using an offset spatula, smooth the mixture out across the surface.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate onto the candy. Let stand for 5 minutes. Using an offset spatula, smooth the chocolate evenly over the surface.
  • Then sprinkle the slivered almonds onto the chocolate and gently shake the pan to distribute the almonds. You can gently press the almonds into the chocolate with your fingertips.
  • Let the toffee cool completely and then cover with plastic wrap. When it is completely solid, slip a flat-edged spatula under the toffee to lift it up and begin cracking the toffee into pieces that can be stored in an air-tight container. I break the toffee into large pieces, and then, when serving, I break any larger pieces into something which can be eaten in a few bites.
  • This can be stored at room temperature if the container is airtight. You can refrigerate or freeze the toffee but bring it to room temperature prior to serving.


I am not sure how to emphasize sufficiently the caution one needs to take when working with sugar at this high temperature. Molten sugar will stick to the skin – and running hot water does not cool it off quickly. Carelessness when working with hot sugar can lead to a serious burn. I don’t want to frighten anyone from making this – but some common-sense steps will ensure both success and safety. I follow this routine EVERY time I make anything that requires a candy thermometer.
Make sure there are no small children who are playing and might accidentally come near the stove during preparation.
Remove all distractions. Do not talk on the phone, or be talking to anyone else in the kitchen, etc. CONCENTRATE!
I recommend wearing a glove (dishwashing glove is fine) on the hand which is using the offset spatula to ensure your knuckles do not touch the hot sugar
Move slowly, deliberately, and mindfully – every step of the way.
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