The 12 Days of Holiday Cookies: Day Nine

The Irresistible Un-Cookie

Crispy caramel. Chocolate-covered. Gluten-free. Easy.

This treat looks like a free-form cookie, you can nibble it like a cookie, but it isn't a cookie.

It's Chocolate-Covered Buttercrunch Toffee

After all the holiday excess of baked goods, are you ready for a taste break? 

Made with ingredients you probably have on hand, the toffee mixture comes to a boil in a saucepan. You simply let it cook until it reaches 300 degrees F. 

Carefully pour the toffee mixture onto a baking sheet, then strew with chocolate chips. Let them melt for 2 minutes, then swirl the melted chocolate with a knife or thin metal spatula.

Add-ons could include chopped toasted pecans or walnuts, flaked almonds, toasted pumpkin seeds, or coarse sea salt. 

 And the other amazing thing about Chocolate-Covered Buttercrunch Toffee is that is just seems to disappear. 

You start off with a full plate (okay, you may have had to taste just a little bit to make sure it turned out all right)

You come back a little later, and this is what you see

And before you know it, you have to make another batch.

Chocolate-Covered Buttercrunch Toffee

Adapted from a recipe by David Lebowitz

Makes enough toffee to last about 24 hours.

You can double this recipe and pour it out onto a large 11 x 17-inch baking sheet to cool. When the candy thermometer registers 250 degrees F., my advice is to stand watch. A watched pot does actually boil and will produce a perfect toffee.

2 cups (8 ounces) toasted, chopped nuts (optional), flaked almonds, or toasted pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, or 1 cup chocolate chips

Optional: Fleur de sel or coarse sea salt to sprinkle on at the end

Use a vegetable oil (such as canola) to lightly oil an 8 x 10-inch baking sheet and set aside.

If using the nuts, sprinkle half on the baking sheets; reserve the remaining half.

In a medium heavy-duty saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, bring the water, butter, salt, and sugars to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring as little as possible, until the mixture just reaches 300 degrees F, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Quickly pour the hot toffee mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, trying for an even layer. If necessary, gently but quickly spread with a metal spatula. 

Strew the chocolate over the hot toffee and leave to melt for 2 minutes. Use a table knife or a metal spatula to spread the melted chocolate in an even layer.

Sprinkle on the remaining nuts and fleur de sel, if you like.

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