HarvardHomemaker

By HarvardHomemaker

I'm a Harvard graduate and homemaker who blogs about living (and loving!) the domestic life with my husband and four young daughters. My blog now permanently resides at www.harvardhomemaker.com. Please visit me there!

Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 09:57:00 AM in Recipes
Tags: cookie exchange,  christmas,  kid friendly,  recipes,  easy,  toffee,  recipes for kids,  holiday

Toffee: So Easy & So Good!

This has been my go-to treat around the holidays for years.  I bring it to cookie exchanges and give it as gifts.  It flies off the platter when it's served at parties.  My family literally jumps up and down when I make it.  (Okay, maybe my husband skips the jumping part, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't eat himself silly when this is around!)  

Basically, THIS STUFF IS GOOD.  And did I mention that it's also ridiculously EASY?!  This is a great recipe for kids--my girls are so helpful when I make a ton of this.  We set up a little assembly line and make copious amounts of toffee in December!  :)  It freezes really well, so it can be ready and waiting for you until you're ready to give it as a gift or serve it yourself.  (I often give it as a gift to teachers, along with a gift card.  It would also be a perfect neighbor or hostess gift.  To help you out, I have created recipe tags that you can print and attach as well.)

A single tray can give you about 50-55 pieces, so it's great for a cookie exchange, too, especially if you are short on time.  One night my girls helped me whip up 4 trays (more than 200 pieces!) in less than an hour.  No kidding.  We can all stand to get some time back in our days around the holidays!

Give it a try!  I think it will become a go-to in your house, just like it is in ours.  :)

 

You Go I Go Couple Tees

Start by laying saltine crackers across a large, ungreased cookie sheet with sides.  I have used pans of various sizes, and it always seems to turn out just fine.  This is a step you can have the kids handle--they love feeling useful!

Melt the butter over medium heat, and add the brown sugar.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for about three minutes.  It should start to thicken just a bit.

Pour the mixture over the crackers and spread evenly.  I like to use the back of a spoon because I feel like a knife makes the crackers slide around too much.

Place the pan in an oven set to 325 and bake for about 4-5 minutes or until tiny bubbles are spread pretty evenly across the crackers.  If you look closely below, you can see the little bubbles.

Sprinkle a bag (12 oz) of peanut butter chips and a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips all over (kids love this part, too!), and then return to the oven for about 2-3 minutes so they begin to melt. 

Remove from the oven, and spread evenly--again, I like to use the back of a spoon.  This is the step the kids love the most!

Place the finished pan in the refrigerator, but only briefly (maybe 20 minutes or so).  WHEN IT'S JUST SET AND FIRM TO THE TOUCH, REMOVE IT FROM THE FRIDGE AND CUT IT.  I have learned that if I wait too long to cut it, I almost break my wrist!  And it cracks more, too.  You can use just a butter knife (easier on your pans) if you cut it when barely set, and your pieces will be neater with a cleaner edge.  If you forget about it and it's in the fridge for a long time, try taking it out so it can soften just a little before cutting it.

You can also sprinkle chopped nuts on top if you'd like, but we skip that step.

Store in the refrigerator so it doesn't melt too much.  You can also freeze it.  It will come out perfectly when you're ready to serve.  

So easy!  And it makes so much at once--I always double this, or even triple or quadruple it!  Depending on how big your pieces are, you can count on 50 or so per pan.


EASY TOFFEE

Saltine crackers

2 sticks butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 bag chocolate chips (12 oz)

1 bag peanut butter chips (12 oz)

 

Preheat oven to 325.  Spread crackers evenly on ungreased cookie sheet.  On medium heat melt butter and add brown sugar, stirring constantly.  Boil for about 3 minutes, stirring all the time.  Pour mixture on crackers and spread evenly.  Bake at 325 for about 4-5 minutes or until it bubbles (this might take longer, depending on your oven).  Sprinkle chocolate and peanut butter chips over the top and return to oven for about 2-3 minutes so chips begin to soften.  Remove from oven and spread until smooth with the back of a spoon.  You can also sprinkle chopped nuts on top if you'd like.  Place in the fridge until just set and firm to the touch (about 20 minutes maybe) and then cut into pieces.  (If you wait too long to cut it, it will break apart, and it will also be hard on your wrist!  You'll get nice, clean edges if you cut it when just set.)

Store in the fridge so it doesn't melt.  Although I like to eat it after it's not quite so chilled after sitting out for a bit, closer to room temperature--but maybe that's just me.  :)  You can also freeze this.  I layer it with wax paper in between the layers.  It works like a charm!

This makes a nice gift (click here to print recipe cards to attach to the gift), and it's perfect for cookie exchanges since you can make a lot at once.  Plan on about 50 pieces per pan.  Enjoy!


canning labels & tags

This recipe is especially great around the holidays, but you could really make it any time of the year!  I hope you like it.  

What do you like to make for a holiday cookie exchange?

Until next time, 

HH

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Comments

  • I just want to eat what's boiling in that pot. done.

    This looks great. I'm going to make a strong suggestion that this be made here. Or maybe I'll do it.

    That made me laugh out loud. Yes, when that stuff is no longer scalding hot, everyone fights over licking the wooden spoon! Brown sugar and butter--who can argue with that? And I think you could handle making this solo. Would love to hear how that goes--enlist the kids and let your wife go shopping! :)

  • Quick questions Christy. When you cut the toffee do you put it back into the refrigerator to continue to "set" or do you remove the pieces at the time of cutting? -Tina

    Good question! I put it back in the fridge to store it once cut--otherwise it gets kind of melty and sticks together... but I do like to eat it once it's not quite so chilled, so you could take it out closer to serving time--I like when it's almost melted a bit in my hand... yum!! Although my hubby likes to eat it straight out of the freezer (!), so I guess we're all different. :)

    Me again! After I cut it, if it's set and not gooey, I'll remove the pieces and layer them in a container with wax paper in between the sheets, and then return it to the fridge. If the pieces still seem a little gooey and could stand to firm up a bit (or they might fall apart when I remove them) then I return the entire pan to the fridge and wait... they will pop out pretty easily later since they're already cut. When I give it as gifts, I don't worry about layering it in wax paper or anything... I just put it all in a small tin or tie it up in small bags.

  • Wanted to pop in to let you know that my little helper (Will) and I made up 2 batches of the Toffee today! It was so simple and a great way for us to create some holiday memories! We also decided to to switch up the second batch with butterscotch instead of peanut butter and boy are they delicious!! :-D

    Tina, great idea!!! I'm going to try that version. :) Aren't they a fun thing to make with kids? We're making more tomorrow for the teachers at school!

  • Christy, these bars are so yummy!! I made a quick batch (really appreciate the simple recipes you post) last night and I can't stop eating them! In fact, I mentioned this recipe to our daycare provider as an activity to do with the older kids and she is going to try it out. Can't believe such a simple recipe tastes so delicious!

    That sounds like a perfect thing for the older kids to do! It's such a kid-friendly recipe... so many steps they can help with... I love hearing that you're making use out of my posts!! :)

  • Made this afternoon. The Anderson family verdict? Overwhelmingly and enthusiastically APPROVED! The kids loved them and I may or may not have tried one (or two or so) and thought they were delish, but no one will ever know for sure. ;) YUM!
    Thank you for another winner!
    :)

    Yay!! So glad they were a hit! I have made two QUADRUPLE batches this month, so needless to say, I have eaten my fair share of toffee lately!

  • Winner! Taking them over to the evening Christmas party with friends. This is my sweet treat to share. This is a classic and takes the stress out of the chocolate dipped pretzel rods I was going to do! Merry Christmas

    Woohoo! So glad you found these easy to make! Not much clean up either compared to baking cookies... I hope everybody likes them! Merry Christmas to your crew, too! :)

  • VARIATIONS: My friend above said she tried butterscotch chips instead of peanut butter, and that was really good as well. Another friend made them with flat, square pretzels as the base instead of saltines... also yummy! Any other ideas?

  • When I made this eons ago, we used graham crackers. Just another version. It was well liked by family. Have fun! Variety is the spice of life!

    That's a great idea! Love that--we'll have to try it that way as well. Thanks for the suggestion! :)

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