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Christmas Cashew Toffee


  • 1 lb butter (4 sticks)

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

  • 6 TBS water

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews** (divided)

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  • In a medium sized heavy saucepan melt the butter over low to medium heat stirring occasionally to keep from browning. 

  • While the butter is melting lightly butter a large 12 x 17 cookie sheet. 

  • Hang a candy thermometer on the inside of the pot while cooking, make sure it does not rest on the bottom of the pan. 

  • Once the butter is melted add the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir and mix to a sugary goo. 

  • Raise heat to medium or medium-high (the higher the heat the faster you need to be prepared to stir) 

  • Stir using a wooden or non heat-conducting spoon at a slow pace taking brief breaks until the temp is approximately 225 degrees. (The only reason for stirring slowly is to save your energy for the latter stages) 

  • Above 225 degrees, stir constantly and progressively more quickly to minimize scorching. (The hotter the stove top, the more prone the mix is to burn) 

  • After the heat rises above 270 degrees watch carefully because it will begin to heat up more quickly. 

  • Toward the end, you will feel like both the toffee and your arms are burning. (20-30 minutes) By now you will have switched hands several times. You will want to stop. Keep going! Toward this end, it will have turned a dark golden brown and maybe smoking a bit. 

  • After the temperature passes 290 degrees, remove from heat, stir in the coarse nuts, and remove the thermometer. (A little burning on the bottom of the pan is normal. A lot of burning may not ruin it but might add a slightly bitter taste making it more suitable for ice cream topping. Well yes, you can overcook and burn it if you try hard and don’t stir enough.) 

  • Pour the entire mixture onto the cookie sheet, spreading evenly to the edges with the stirring spoon. 

  • After cooling slightly, (5-10 minutes) spread the chocolate chips evenly over the surface. Wait a few minutes to allow the chips to melt. (If you allowed it to cool too much a hair dryer can assist in melting the chips.) Avoid smearing the chips all the way to the edge of the pan to simplify cleaning. 

  • Once the chocolate is spread, sprinkle the finely chopped nuts across the surface. (Optionally, press the surface with a clean dry hand to assure nuts are stuck tight.)

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