pecan and almond chocolate toffee

New York was more than fantastic. But before I share with you the highlights of my trip (which will happen after I sift through 800+ photos), I want to give you this toffee.

I made this toffee for Jon right before I left for New York in exchange for an ipod full of True Blood Season 3. I was hoping to catch up on my vampire soaps on the flight out. Sadly for me, things didn’t quite work out with my ipod. Which was actually fine because I was totally preoccupied with all of the in-flight music, tv and snacks courtesy of Virgin America.

And this toffee is pretty great, so all was not lost. It’s crunchy and buttery and studded with toasted pecans. It has a nice coat of chocolate and is dusted with a blanket of finely ground almonds. And it is extremely easy to make. I threw this together one morning before work and it took about an hour from start to finish. Not too shabby if you ask me.

This little number comes from the Baked cookbook, which has yet to let me down. Baked was on my list of must-eats in New York. But there were only so many days and only so much room for sweets in my belly, so I didn’t make it. But that just gives me another reason to get back out there.

pecan and almond chocolate toffee

adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

makes 1-1/2 pounds

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup toasted pecans

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup sugar

5 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped (I used bittersweet chocolate chips)

4 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Butter a 9x13x2-inch glass or metal baking pan (do not use nonstic spray).

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the almonds until they are a fine powder. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. In the same food processor bowl, pulse the pecans for just 1 or 2 seconds, or until they are coarsely chopped. Set aside.

Put the butter in a medium pan over low heat. When the butter is halfway melted, add the sugar and 1 tablespoon water and cook overlow heat, stirring gently with a spatula until completely combined. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan, turn the heat up to medium-high, and wait for the mixture to reach 300 degrees F, about 15 minutes. If the browning of thr mixture seems uneven, swirl the pan while cooking, but do not stir.

Meanwhile, toss the chocolate together.

When the mixture reaches 300° F, remove the pan from the heat and remove the candy thermometer. Stir in the pecan pieces and pour the mixture into the prepared pan. After the mixture has evened out in the pan, wait 1 minute, then sprinkle the chocolate over the toffee. Wait about 3 minutes for the chocolate to melt, then use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer. Sprinkle the almmond powder over the melted chocolate, then carefully put the whole pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the freezer and break the toffee into pieces with a sharp knife. Store the toffee in an airtight container, between layers of parchment. The toffee will keep for up to 5 days.