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Any nut will do for butter toffee recipe

Published Jul. 6, 2000|Updated Sep. 27, 2005

Frances Bepner has used her butter toffee recipe for at least 15 years. Frances usually makes it with pecans, but any nut can be used successfully.

Kaye Clark shares recipes and cooking information that she has gleaned from copies of The Microwave Times in her collection.

In microwave cooking, there is no chance of scorching, and sugar crystals dissolve better than in stove-top cooking, but reaching the necessary temperature is trickier. Temperature control is particularly important with candies cooked at lower temperatures, such as divinity and fudge.

Microwave Times tips:

It is important to stir the mixture after it comes to a boil so that all the sugar is dissolved.

A deep bowl holds the heat better and will give more consistent results. The bowl should be heatproof so that it will not be adversely affected by the very high temperatures. The container should also have ample room to allow the mixture to boil without spillage.

During the last few minutes of cooking time, the temperature should be checked every minute. The temperature often remains low for some time but then suddenly climbs quickly.

Don't leave the thermometer in the candy during microwave cooking unless the thermometer is designed for microwave cooking.

On humid days, cook candy a few degrees higher than normal.

If you do not have a candy thermometer, use the standard cold water tests: soft ball, 236 degrees; firm ball, 244 degrees; hard ball, 254 degrees; soft crack, 270 degrees; hard crack, 300 degrees.

For: Ruth Burgess of Palm Harbor.

From: Frances Bepner of Clearwater.

Recipe: Butter toffee.

Butter Toffee

{ cup butter (1 stick)

1 cup sugar

\ cup water

{ teaspoon salt

1 2{-ounce package chopped nuts

{ pound milk chocolate

Rub the top of a 2-quart batter bowl with the butter. Place the rest of the butter in the bottom of the bowl. Pour the sugar directly on the butter. (Avoid getting the sugar on the sides of the bowl as much as possible.) Add the salt and the water. Do not stir the mixture at any time from this time until the mixture is finished cooking. Microwave 7-8 minutes. This is a starting cooking time. You will have to add time in 30-second increments until the candy becomes the color of a Heath bar, dark brown sugar or browned butter.

While the mixture is cooking, spread the nuts on a metal tray or a cookie sheet that has been lined with foil. As soon as the correct color is achieved, pour the mixture over the nuts on the tray. Do not scrape syrup onto the nut mixture. Cool. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1{-2 minutes and pour over the cooled candy mixture. Break into pieces when set.

Tip: Frances notes that this recipe is for a 1,000-watt microwave and can't be made in one with less than 750 watts. In her 750-watt microwave, Frances starts cooking for 10 minutes and then checks every 30 seconds.

From: Kaye Clark of Clearwater.

Recipes: Almond crunch, apri-nut clusters, creamy choco-mint melts, English toffee and peanut brittle from The Microwave Times.

Almond (or Any Other Nut) Crunch

2 cups sugar

{ cup water

\ cup dark corn syrup

1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks)

1 cup slivered almonds (3\ ounces)

Combine sugar, water, corn syrup and butter in 2-quart glass mixing bowl. Microwave (high), uncovered, 18-20 minutes or until candy thermometer registers 290 degrees, stirring every 5 minutes. (If you don't have a candy thermometer, drop a small amount of mixture in cold water, and it should form a soft crack consistency.)

Stir in almonds or nuts of choice. Pour at once onto buttered cookie sheet. Cool. Break into pieces. Makes 1{ pounds.

Apri-Nut Clusters

16 ounces candy coating for almond bark, broken into pieces

1 cup (about 6 ounces) chopped dried apricots

1 cup granola cereal

{ cup salted peanuts

{ cup raisins

Microwave candy coating in 1{-quart glass bowl 3 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Stir until smooth.

Stir in remaining ingredients until coated. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes. Makes about 40 candies.

Creamy Choco-Mint Melts

1{ pounds white almond bark

1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate pieces

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

4 drops green food coloring

3 tablespoons whipping cream

Line bottom and sides of 12- by 8-inch glass dish with sheet of waxed paper.

Combine of almond bark and the chocolate pieces in 4-cup glass measure. Microwave (high), uncovered, 2{-3 minutes or until mixture is softened. Stir until smooth.

Spread half of chocolate in bottom of baking dish; refrigerate to set, about 20 minutes. (Allow remaining chocolate to stand at room temperature.)

Place remaining almond bark in 2-cup glass measure. Microwave (high), uncovered, 1{-2 minutes or until softened. Stir in extract and coloring (mixture will become very stiff). Mix in cream until of spreading consistency. Spread over chilled chocolate mixture. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes.

Spread remaining chocolate mixture over mint layer. Chill until set. Before serving, allow to warm to room temperature, then, holding onto waxed paper edges, lift mints from pan. Cut into serving pieces. Makes 2 pounds.

Tip: Mints need to be at room temperature to cut without the chocolate cracking.

English Toffee

1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks)

1 cups sugar

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

{ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

cup finely chopped nuts

Combine butter, sugar, corn syrup and water in deep 2-quart bowl or casserole. Microwave, uncovered, 4 minutes. Stir. Microwave, uncovered, 6-8 minutes or until about 300 degrees is reached, stirring and checking temperature during last few minutes. Stir in vanilla.

Pour into ungreased 9- by 13-inch pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand until chips are softened; spread evenly over toffee. Sprinkle with nuts, pressing them into the chocolate. Refrigerate to set chocolate. When cool, turn out of pan and break into pieces. Makes about 1\ pounds.

Tip: Butter gives best flavor.

Peanut Brittle

1{ cups sugar

{ cup light corn syrup

{ cup water

Dash salt

2 cups raw peanuts

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar, corn syrup, water, salt and peanuts in deep 2-quart bowl or casserole. Microwave, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir.

Microwave, uncovered, 13-15 minutes or until about 300 degrees is reached, checking temperature during last few minutes.

Stir in butter, soda and vanilla just until light and bubbly. Pour onto greased cookie sheet and spread to desired thickness. Cool. Break into pieces. Store in covered container. Makes about 1\ pounds.

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