One of my favorite candy bars has always been a Heath bar, or a Skor bar. They’re pretty much the same thing, a layer of toffee with a few pieces of almonds mixed in, dipped in chocolate. I find it very hard to resist big broken chunks of toffee with a chocolate bottom and nuts on top at a candy store, too… Even though I know that toffee is (usually) made with butter. I love my Earth Balance, I make fantastic, fudgy chocolate frosting with it (among other things), but I was skeptical about using it to make something as decadent as toffee. Would the flavor hold up or would it separate into oil and water, like most margarine? I’m now a believer that Earth Balance can be used to make candy — it held up perfectly!
Toffee is really so simple to make that it’s hard to believe I never tried it before! No candy thermometer required here — just watch the clock and stir, stir, stir!
Note: Do NOT stop stirring, even for a few seconds! In the middle of making my second batch, I took the pot off the heat and ran across the room to pick up the phone. I was gone less than 30 seconds, and that sucker burned. 😦 I ended up with a slimy, nasty, burned-tasting mess. So don’t do what I did!!!
Some recipes (vegan and non-vegan) I’ve seen for toffee state that you absolutely must have a nonstick pan for this. I don’t use nonstick, but that wasn’t a problem at all. This recipe doesn’t make a whole lot, but I would guess that smaller batches are easier to handle as far as stirring and pouring over the nuts.
Chocolate Almond Toffee
1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth Balance margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/2-1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Prepare a metal 8″ cake pan or a loaf pan (I used a loaf pan) by spreading sliced almonds on the bottom, covering it entirely with one layer of nuts. This is where you will pour the melted toffee mixture when it has cooked long enough to melt the sugar. Using a metal pan will make it easier to get the toffee out once it has hardened.
Melt Earth Balance over medium heat; when half-melted, add sugar and salt. Stir. When mixture reaches the almost-boiling point, start timing 7 minutes. Stir for 7 minutes over medium heat. Pour into pan on top of sliced almonds in a back-and-forth manner, spreading the toffee evenly over the nuts. You can’t really go back and spread this with a spoon, so pour it evenly. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and leave it alone for a few minutes.
Spread the now-melted chocolate chips over the toffee with the back of a spoon. Let harden, then turn pan upside down on a cookie sheet or cutting board. When toffee is out of the pan, use the tip of a knife to break it into chunks.