Christmas seems to sneak up on us every year, and it’s hard to believe that it’s just one week away! Have you finished your shopping? Despite our best intentions, every year we are always scrambling at the last minute to make/purchase and wrap everything, and then we cross our fingers and hope that we make the deadline to ship the packages to out-of-town relatives for the holiday. We’re cutting it pretty close, but we’re hoping to finish everything up by Friday so that we can simply sit back and savor the season.
As our kitchen would prove, ’tis the season for baking. Our kitchen has been a perpetual mess lately as I’ve been whipping up batch after batch of cookies, cakes and toffee.
Vegan toffee is really hard to find in stores (although there are a couple that you can order online). I’ve wanted to try my hand at homemade toffee for several years now, but it wasn’t until I picked up a candy thermometer a few weeks ago that I was finally able to give it a go. You have to be extra attentive as you cook it, but oh my goodness is it easy! Throw everything in a pot, stir it around as it boils for about ten or so minutes, then pour it onto a baking sheet and let it cool.
I certainly wouldn’t turn down toffee coated in chocolate and topped with nuts, but I also love it unadorned. Crunchy pieces of rich buttery toffee that melt in your mouth are always a welcome treat. One of my favorite ways to eat it lately is to chop it up and mix the pieces into a bowl of vegan ice cream — so dreamy!
Be sure to stop by again tomorrow, because I’ll be sharing a toffee-infused recipe! :)
- 1 cup Earth Balance
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- Pinch of salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Optional: Melted semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped nuts (such as almonds or peanuts)
- Line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat (such as Silpat) or parchment paper. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of a medium/large pot.
- Add all ingredients except for the vanilla extract to the pot and bring everything to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the mixture begins to turn a darker amber color and the temperature reaches 300º (it should reach this temp right after the color darkens and the aroma intensifies). Immediately remove from heat and mix in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the mixture onto your prepared baking sheet and smooth with a spatula. Let it sit for at least a couple of hours, until hardened.
- Optional: If you want to add chocolate, blot the toffee with a towel to remove any excess oils. Pour the melted chocolate over the hardened toffee, and smooth it with a spatula. Sprinkle nuts on top, if using, and lightly press them into the chocolate. Let it sit again for a couple of hours, until the chocolate has hardened, too.
- Break the toffee into small pieces and serve. I recommend storing the toffee in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.