This buttercrunch should come with a warning sign because it is truly addictive. The combination of the sweet buttery toffee, rich dark chocolate, followed by the salty crunchy nuts are heavenly. This recipe makes a large batch, but not to worry, the likelihood of leftovers is very low. It is a really great recipe that I have made countless times, and definitely worth attempting! It is great for parties and makes an amazing gift. (A great source for cellophane bags for hostess gifts is Nashvillewraps, they sell al kinds of pretty packaging!) You can replace the pecans for caramelized Rice Krispies for those with nut allergies.
Keys to Success:
- The toffee sets within a few minutes therefore miss en place is a good idea: have your silicone baking mat or parchment paper ready as well as an offset spatula on your counter to spread the toffee.
- The use of a digital thermometer is important, to avoid overcooking the toffee.
- Prepare the vanilla extract and keep it onhand near the stove as you will quickly need to mix it in. Do not add it from the beginning as the vanilla might burn and give the toffee a bitter flavor.
- The mixture gets very hot. Make sure you use a medium saucepan, large enough that you can stir safely without any splatters. Also make sure you are using a heatproof spatula.
- Spread your toffee enough that it is not too thick.
- You can place the chocolate covered toffee in the fridge to set. Unless you are using tempered chocolate which sets within minutes, it will take long to set and putting it to cool just speeds up the process. As you can see from the pics below, the chocolate is still nice and shiny.
Pecan Buttercrunch (adapted from Chocolate and Confections by Peter B. Greweling)
- 450g (4 sticks or 1 cup) Butter, melted
- 450g (16 oz or 2 cups) Sugar
- 90g (3 0z) Water
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 15g (0.5 oz) Vanilla Extract
- Optional, caramelized Rice Krispies (click for recipe)
- 680g (2½ cups)Dark Chocolate, tempered or just melted
- 450g (4 cups) Pecans, toasted chopped and salted
- Prepare a silicone mat or a long section of parchment paper on your counter.
- Combine the butter, sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Continue to stir the mixture over moderate-high heat till it reaches 298F, This can take approx. 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract. Stir in well.
- Working quickly, spread the mixture over a silicone mat or over parchment paper on your counter, if heatproof. The toffee will set quickly.
- Allow to cool completely. Blot the toffee with a towel to remove any excess oil on the surface.
- Coat one side of the toffee with half of the chocolate and immediately sprinkle the toasted nuts onto the chocolate.
- When the chocolate sets, turn the toffee over, and repeat on the other side.
- Break into desired-size pieces.
- Store protected from heat and humidity.