White Chocolate Toffee

"I think the ultimate comfort food might be candy — any kind of candy, from a store-bought Snickers bar to handmade chocolate truffles. In addition to giving us that wonderful sugar rush, candy makes us feel like we’re kids again. When I had my specialty-food store, Barefoot Contessa, the checkout counter was piled high with glassine bags filled with candy — not fancy liqueur-soaked bittersweet truffles; rather, bags of old-fashioned candy corn and M&M’s. I started making the bags one year because I thought they’d be fun for Christmas, and they were so popular that I just kept making them all year. When customers were checking out, they’d pick up a bag and say, “Oh, the kids will love these!” Sure, I would think. The kids. The kids will never even see them because you’re going to eat those malted milk balls on the way home! While store-bought candy is a treat, there really is nothing like homemade candy. Making candy sounds complicated, but for this White Chocolate Toffee you don’t even need a candy thermometer. You just make a caramel, pour it into a cake pan, melt some white chocolate to pour on top, then sprinkle it with all kinds of crunchy, salty and sweet dried fruits and nuts. The hardest part of the process is waiting the two hours for the toffee to harden before you break it into shards and eat it!" says Ina.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 45 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 25 to 30 pieces of toffee
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Generously grease a 9-by-12-inch metal cake pan with butter, making sure all the sides and corners are greased. Combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and kosher salt in a medium (10- to 11-inch) pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts. Continue cooking for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the mixture turns a pale golden color. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns a deep caramel color. (Be careful, it will be extremely hot!) Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared pan, tilting the pan to distribute it evenly. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes, then use a paring knife to score lines in large irregular serving pieces. Allow the toffee to cool for 5 minutes, then retrace the lines you drew with the paring knife.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (see Cook’s Note). Pour the chocolate over the toffee, using a spatula to spread it evenly. Immediately sprinkle on the cashews, pistachios, ginger and cranberries so they’re evenly distributed. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and set aside at room temperature for at least 2 hours, until the chocolate is completely set. Break into pieces along the scored lines and serve at room temperature.

Cook’s Note

To melt chocolate, chop it and place it in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl. Remove from the heat before the chocolate melts completely and stir, allowing the residual heat to finish melting the chocolate.

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