Toffee, Not Coffee

September 5, 2008

My husband Randy doesn’t drink coffee. Not only does he not drink it, he doesn’t like it. In case you are wondering, you are allowed to live in Seattle if you don’t like coffee, but you have to plead your case in front of a jury.

To add insult to injury, he doesn’t like coffee flavored things – so things like Mud Pie and Tiramisu are out. (However, we ordered a sky high slice of Mud Pie at the Pioneer Saloon in Sun Valley and I noticed that he ate his share. Hmmmmm.)

I know, between the beets and the coffee, it’s a wonder I married him. He does have many redeeming qualities, one of which being that he is very smart. I mean, really smart. Like has two master’s degrees, one of which from that school back East that starts with an “H”. So it really tickled me when I offered him some of this amazing toffee the other day. He said he didn’t like toffee. I said, “It’s basically hardened caramel, peanuts, and chocolate – what’s not to like?” After careful consideration he said, “I think I think I don’t like it because toffee rhymes with coffee.” OK, Mr. Mensa, glad we cleared that up. As my (blond) neighbor Deb said, “That is such a blond comment!”

After a taste, I was unable to keep his hand out of the bag. For you coffee haters out there, don’t discriminate against delicious things that rhyme with your hatred! This toffee is easy, decadent enough for a dinner party, and it makes a ton – and keeps well. Hup to!

Chocolate Peanut Toffee
Makes about 3 pounds

I was unable to fit this pan in my freezer, so I put it in the fridge for about 2 hours. It hardened just fine.

4 sticks (1lb) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 cups sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

4 cups whole cocktail peanuts, plus 1 cup chopped (1 lb. 10 oz.)

8 oz. 70%-cacao bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Equipment: a 15 by 10 by 1 inch baking pan (also called a jelly roll pan), a candy thermometer, a metal offset spatula

Butter baking pan and put on a heatproof surface.

Bring butter, sugar, and salt to a boil in a 4-5 quart heavy pot over medium-high heat, whisking until smooth, then boil, stirring occasionally, until mixture is deep golden and registers 300 degrees on thermometer, 15-20 minutes.

Immediately stir in whole peanuts, then carefully pour hot toffee into center of baking pan. Spread with spatula, smoothing top, and let stand 1 minute, then immediately sprinkle chocolate on top. Let stand until chocolate is melted, 4-5 minutes, then spread over toffee with cleaned spatula. Sprinkle evenly with chopped peanuts, then freeze until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes. Break into pieces.

Toffee keeps in an airtight container at room temperature for two weeks.


  1. I LOVE toffee! This looks outrageously good!

    Comment by My Sweet & Saucy — September 7, 2008 @ 11:02 pm

  2. I love toffee and make it every holiday season. I use pecans in my version, and it’s always a crowd pleaser!

    Comment by lisa — September 7, 2008 @ 11:28 pm

  3. I am a huge toffee fan but have never made it at home – You make it look so easy. This will be a great addition to the holiday baking menu!!

    Comment by Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer — September 8, 2008 @ 3:22 pm

  4. I’m not a coffee fan, either, but I wouldn’t be able to stay away from this toffee!! It would probably be very dangerous in my house, because I could probably eat the whole pan!

    Comment by Deborah — September 8, 2008 @ 4:53 pm

  5. Haha did a Harvard graduate really just dismiss the taste of a food based on what its name rhymes with? If he uses this justification for everything, he’ll miss out! For example, beets rhymes with meats…Does he not like meat?! :)

    Chew on That

    Comment by Hillary — September 8, 2008 @ 5:16 pm

  6. i love toffee but i usually only get to enjoy it once a year around christmastime. but i think i’m going to have to try to make this sooner than that!

    Comment by Megan. — September 8, 2008 @ 9:36 pm

  7. I *love* toffee, and this recipe especially! I made it last year for Christmas gifts…but your post is reminding me I should really make it year-round, it was so good. I loved how it was a little salty with the sweet…I’m glad your husband came around! :)

    Comment by Amy — November 9, 2009 @ 1:24 am

  8. OH, MY WORD! I haven’t had any Toffee since last Christmas (’09) when Cat was home for Christmas and made it for the family (Your receipe, of course). It is now the #1 favorite of the Golden household in Georgia. It will definately be on the “Goody Table” when she and her brother get home for Christmas. Thank you for sharing.


    Comment by Gayle Golden — December 2, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

  9. Oh my, again! It’s the week before Christmas, it’s raining buckets but the cat and I are in front of a fire and the Christmas tree, working on the “Holiday” request from the kids and remembered Catherine’s text message requesting our cooking in the kitchen this weekend……and YOUR TOFFEE was at the top of the list…again. So, from one coast and one Mom to another….thanks….making your Toffee has become a great mother-daughter ritual in this Georgia home. May you and Randy and the boys have a wonderful holiday season. PS- I do believe this may be our 4th season of making Dana’s famous Toffee together! So you are famous!

    Comment by Catherine's Mom - Gayle Golden — December 17, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

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