Last year I made the matzo toffee, and it was great. I decided to try a different one this year, and it's another keeper. Very easy to make, as long as you have a candy thermometer. I messed up, and put all of the nuts on the bottom, and since there were too many, when I lifted up the toffe when cooled, half the nuts were still on the sheetpan. Darn, I had to make another batch. And this one wouldn't be given away. I actually like that there aren't as many nuts.
CHOCOLATE-ALMOND BUTTERCRUNCH TOFFEE
2 cups toasted almonds or hazelnuts, chopped between fine and course (I used hazelnuts, and did not skin them)
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
a nice, big pinch of 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: Ground cocoa nibs or fleur de sel
1. Lightly oil a baking sheet with an unflavored vegetable oil.
2. Sprinkle half the nuts into a rectangle about 8" x 10" on the baking sheet.
3. In a medium heavy-duty saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, heat the water, butter, salt, and both sugars. Cook, stirring as little as possible, until the thermometer reads 300 F degrees. Have the vanilla and baking soda handy.
4. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.
5. Quickly pour the mixture over the nuts on the baking sheet. Try to pour the mixture so it forms a relatively even layer. (If necessary, gently but quickly spread with a spatula, but don't overwork it.)
6. Strew the chocolate pieces over the top and let stand 2 minutes, then spread in an even layer.
7. If using, sprinkle with a small handful of cocoa nibs and a flurry of fleur des sel. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the chocolate and gently press them in with your hands.
Cool completely (I had to put it in the refrigerator) and break into pieces to serve. Store in an airtight container, for up to 10 days.