Monday, December 16, 2013

coffee toffee.

It's cookie week (!!!) here on this blog because it's December and the only logical thing to do in December is eat cookies for breakfast (duh) and contemplate what your sister may want for Christmas (why are sisters so hard to shop for?).  

OK, let me rephrase that.  It's cookie and candy week on the blog because we are starting things off with coffee toffee.  (Actually, it's Cawfee Tawfee since I enjoy saying it in a Staten Island accent much to my boyfriend's chagrin but saying it that way is so much more fun.) 

This stuff is what coffee-aholics dream are made of.  It's what people who obsess over Coffee Heath Bar Crunch want to eat when it's too cold for ice cream.  It's what I want to sneak into movie theaters as my snack of choice. (Not that I condone sneaking food into the movie theater but if you happen to forget that you had some in your bag and you find yourself in the movie theater I don't see why you shouldn't eat it.  It would be foolish not to.) This is the kind of thing that begs to be handed out to neighbors and colleagues and friends and family during the holidays (in adorable cellophane bags) because its absurdly easy to make yet it looks fancy and festive.  It's not cloyingly sweet in the slightest (which is sadly what most holiday cookies tend to me).  It's instead subtly sweet with a great roasted coffee undertone that pairs brilliantly with the toasted hazelnuts, rich chocolate, and flaky sea salt.  No one would be opposed to something this good.  

Coffee Toffee
Recipe adapted (barely) from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

I made the smallest of changes here because I'm me and I have my own personal preferences.  Those preferences include swapping semi-sweet chocolate for bittersweet chocolate because I love bittersweet with coffee and applying a sprinkle of sea salt to the top with the hazelnuts because sea salt makes everything better. 

1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons molasses (can swap corn syrup or honey)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt)
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 cup bittersweet (about 70% cocoa), or 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (toasted, skinned and cooled) or another nut of your choice
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

Line a small (9x13) baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat and set aside.

In medium heavy saucepan (I used a 3-quart) with a candy thermometer attached, melt butter, brown sugar, white sugar, molasses, salt and espresso together over together. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a whisk or silicon spatula until the temperature approaches 250 degrees, at which point you should stir constantly until it reaches 300 degrees.

Pour immediately into the prepared baking sheet — you can spread it more evenly with a offset or silicon spatula but don’t worry if you have neither. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the toffee and let them sit for a minute until soft, then spread the chocolate evenly over the candy base.

Sprinkle the chocolate with chopped hazelnuts and the flaky sea salt and then, if you’re as impatient as we are, you can slide the sheet onto a cooling rack in the freezer until the toffee is set.

Break into pieces and store in an airtight container. If you’re kitchen runs warm, you might prefer to keep it in the fridge so the chocolate doesn't get soft.

No comments:

Post a Comment