Thursday, January 14, 2010

Coffee Toffee

Two of life's most essential ingredients--coffee & chocolate--plus a little butter, sugar, and toasted hazelnuts. Can you say YUM?

I discovered a new favorite blog today: Smitten Kitchen. On that blog, I found a recipe that looked so delicious, I had to immediately run out to the grocery store, in 34 degree weather and driving rain, to buy espresso powder and hazelnuts. It was so worth it.

I'd invite you all over to my house to try some, but it's almost gone. So here is the recipe, with my instructions and alterations, instead:

Coffee Toffee

Makes about a 6x6 inch square. (I made half of the original recipe)

1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/8 t. salt
1 t. molasses
1 t. espresso powder
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/8 to 1/4 c. whole hazelnuts

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet (or foil with the edges folded up) and toast until just beginning to brown, 10-15 minutes. When hazelnuts are cool enough to hand, roll them around inside a folded kitchen towel to loosen and remove the skins. Allow to cool completely and then finely chop.
2) Line a baking sheet with foil and grease slightly with butter. I like to fold the edges up just in case (and because my baking sheets don't have rims!).
3) Whisk together butter, sugars, salt, molasses, and espresso powder in a 1.5 qt. sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping sides and bottom until mixture reaches 300 degrees on a candy thermometer.
4) Immediately pour candy out onto prepared baking sheet. Spread out with a silicone spatula if desired. Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot toffee. Let chocolate set and melt for a minute. When the chocolate is soft, spread it out evenly over the toffee. Sprinkle top with chopped hazelnuts, pressing down on them slightly so they set into the chocolate.
5) When toffee is cool, remove it from the foil and place on a wooden cutting board. Break the toffee into pieces by inserting the tip of a sharp knife about half an inch from the edge of the toffee. The toffee should splinter off into pieces.


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