Learn how to make toffee at home in this easy recipe for buttery toffee covered in chocolate. I use a candy thermometer. If you don't have one follow along with the time guidelines and the step-by-step photos. Cover with your choice of chocolate, I use dark chocolate chunks.
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Crunchy toffee candy spread with chocolate, tastes just like a Skor bar!
You've got to try this toffee recipe. We make this every December, it's one of our favorite recipes for over the holidays. It's great on its own and is a nice change of pace from Christmas cookies.
If it's your first time making toffee, you'll want to use a candy thermometer. I always use mine because I love my kitchen tools and if I have them, why not use them? (If you don't have one, see the photos below and read the description under the 'How to Make it' section of this blog post)
I frequently link out to Amazon for the products and kitchen tools that I use. It helps me earn money for this website and I really think it helps to see exactly what someone's using in the kitchen.
This is the candy thermometer that I use. I like it because it doesn't allow the thermometer part to touch the bottom of the pot, it's super easy to read, and clips to my pots so I don't have to worry about it slipping into hot sugar or oil. You can use it for candy making or deep frying. I hope that's helpful to you!
Now, let's get on with candy making!
Ingredients you need
These are simple: just sugar, butter some water, and then chocolate for topping!
No substitutions that I'm aware of for the butter and sugar, but for this recipe I use dark chocolate chunks. You could try milk chocolate chips or semi sweet chocolate chips if you don't like dark chocolate. I imagine you could even use peanut butter chips? Whatever melts!
How to Make Toffee
First, prepare a large baking sheet. (I use a half sheet pan by Nordic Ware) I line mine with a silicone mat by Silpat. You can also use parchment paper. Have the chocolate ready and some optional vanilla if you're using it.
Combine the butter, sugar, and water in a medium pot. The pot may seem too big at first, but if you skip down to the step-by-step photos, you'll see that the mixture really foams up and grows while you're heating it.
Heat the pot over medium heat. The butter will melt, the sugar will dissolve and the mixture will come to a boil. I set my heat at almost 6 out of 10 on my oven, and I use a heavy bottomed pot.
Whenever I've made toffee I've never burnt it. Just use medium heat, it'll take time to get to the stage we want it to, which is called soft crack stage at 285°F.
So once it's at a boil, add in the thermometer. Now just keep heating over medium to medium-high heat as it goes through the stages. If you want to make toffee without a candy thermometer, maybe the following times will help you out in making sure your mixture gets to the right stage.
How long it takes to get to soft crack stage
My toffee reached the following stages at these times:
- 7 minutes: soft ball stage
- 9 minutes: firm ball stage
- 10.5 minutes: hard ball stage
- 14 minutes: soft crack stage
As you can see, the mixture is a really dark caramel or toffee color!
Once the mixture reaches the correct stage, remove from heat immediately. I added ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract off the heat because I like it. It's optional.
Now pour your toffee onto the silicone mat or parchment paper covered cookie sheet. You can either tilt the pan to spread it out evenly or use a small offset spatula.
Let it cool for about 5 minutes. It'll start hardening a bit around the edges but that's ok, it's still got enough heat to melt the chocolate.
Sprinkle the chocolate chunks or chips all over the top and then let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes. I left mine for almost ten minutes because as you can see in the photos they were pretty big chunks.
Now use a small offset spatula to spread the chocolate all over the surface. I sprinkled over some coarse Turkish sea salt because I love the sweet and salty combo. You can skip that if you want to!
Now just chill the whole thing until set and then break it up into pieces. I store mine in the freezer. You can also keep it in the fridge. I don't keep it at room temperature because the chocolate can get kind of melty if your house is warm and I'm always cooking.
More Chrismtas desserts to serve with this recipe
Tips and Tricks
- Use the candy thermometer, my timing guides and step by step photos to arrive at the correct stage for toffee!
- Stay by the stove, don't walk away, just keep an eye on everything.
Butter, sugar and a bit of water.
Caramel and caramel candies include cream and toffee does not.
Easy Homemade Toffee
- Add the sugar, butter, and water to a medium pot.
- Heat over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and butter has melted.
- Add a candy thermometer to the pot (make sure the thermometer part doesn't touch the bottom).
- Maintain a medium to medium-high heat, I have mine at almost 6 out of ten. Don't stir, just wait through all of the stages. Mine hit soft crack stage at 14 minutes,
- Once it's ready, remove it from the heat immediately, stir in vanilla if using and pour onto the pan. Do this quickly but carefully as the sugar will continue to cook.
- Tilt the pan or use a small offset spatula to even the toffee out.
- Let cool for 5 minutes or so. It'll start hardening on the outsides, this is fine, it's still hot enough to melt chocolate.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips on. Let sit 5-10 minutes, or until melted.
- Spread chocolate out with a small offset spatula. Sprinkle flaky sea salt if you like.
- Chill to set chocolate and then break into pieces.
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.