This should be in my top 5 all timers, because I’ve made it for so long and for so many occasions. I always give it at Christmas, or to a new neighbor, or for a birthday and so many more. It’s quick and easy, but PLEASE NOTE: It can be dangerous! I’ve always shied away from writing the recipe because it is SO important that you follow EVERY instruction and PAY ATTENTION to the danger zones as I describe them. The danger part involves handling boiling hot candy when you take it out of the microwave. If you don’t use the correct containers and utensils, you can easily get burned! Ask me how I know…
MICROWAVE ENGLISH TOFFEE
In a large, deep glass heat safe pyrex container (that you can see through) with a handle, melt one stick real butter. To the butter add one cup white sugar and 3 Tbs. water. With a rubber spatula, mix thoroughly. SCRAPE DOWN the sides and get all the little sugar crystals mixed in. If you don’t do this step, the candy might crystalize (ask me how I know…)
NOW the most vital part. Put the candy in the microwave on High, set your time (see below), and bring to a boil. Do not stop boiling or open the oven until you see the candy turn light brown. EVERY MICROWAVE IS DIFFERENT. Your candy could take anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes. MINE TAKES 8 MINUTES. The first time you make it will be the most difficult, because you have to watch it so closely. So after about 5 or 6 minutes of cooking, stand right in front of that oven and watch it! It will seem to suddenly start turning–you might even see some little burnt looking spots begin to show up. But once you’ve done it and if you use the same microwave every time, it should always be very close to the same timing. (Again, mine takes 8 minutes. In my old house, it only took 7 1/2). Don’t burn it!
While the oven is going, get out a metal cookie sheet, and sprinkle it with a circle of almonds, walnuts or pecans, or your favorite nuts. The metal pan part is because when you are done, you will “pop up” the slab of candy from the pan, which is impossible to do in a glass dish. Ask me how I know…
As soon as the candy is light brown, use a pad to grab the hot handle and remove the boiling mix from the oven and quickly pour over the nuts. Scrape Pyrex bowl out with a rubber spatula. The container is very easy to clean. Simply fill it with very hot water and let it set a few minutes. The candy will dissolve completely and you can just rinse and dry (be sure to chip off the little pieces of candy for your own private “taste test”).
IMMEDIATELY, (while the slab of candy is hot, sprinkle plenty of your choice flavor chocolate chips on top, and cover for about 5 minutes with a domed pan lid.
Left: the slab of candy. The murky part is because I didn’t pour it all at once. Right: the lid over the candy. In about five minutes you can spread the hot chocolate smoothly!