Chocolate-Almond Buttercrunch Toffee Recipe

Chocolate almond buttercrunch toffee recipe

While Paris is always beautiful, winter comes, and the city gets cold, gray, and touch dreary. In fact, it’s so cold that I refuse to go outside until spring. Believe me, all those romantic photos of Paris you see are taken during the spring and fall are very deceptive. And although it’s very pretty, it would take a mighty big levier (crowbar) to get me outdoors some of these days.

paris snow

So when to do when you’re stuck indoors for three or four months? Make candy! If you’ve never made candy, this one is really simple and incredibly delicious, so there’s no reason not to try a batch. (No matter where you live.) And truthfully, doesn’t it make you feel happier just looking at it?

My recipe for Chocolate-Almond Buttercrunch Toffee is easy: You chop nuts, you make a syrup, and then you pour the syrup over the nuts. Sprinkle some chocolate over it, spread it out, and finish it with more nuts. That’s it. There’s no fancy techniques and the only special equipment you’ll need is a candy thermometer; they’re easily found online, and in most supermarkets. (Yes, really. Take it from someone who lurks in supermarkets, searching for things like candy thermometers, late at night.)

I like to add a sprinkle of fleur de sel, French salt, which gives it a pleasant salty edge which is divine with the dark chocolate and toasty nuts (any coarse salt can be used). Although you can use chips, you can also chop up a block of chocolate, instead.

When making candy, here are a few tips that will help:

  • Read the recipe thoroughly before proceeding and have everything ready.

  • Make sure your thermometer is accurate. If you’re not sure, bring a pot of water to a boil. It should read 212 degrees if you live at sea level. I use a glass candy thermometer, although the digital ones work as well.

  • Be careful dealing with hot syrups. A good precaution is to have a large bowl of iced water handy. If you spill syrup on your hand, plunge it immediately into the water to stop the burn.

  • The best way to clean a caramelized pan is to fill it with water and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and let stand until the syrup melts away.

  • Every once in a while, candy doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s too humid, or the sugar decides to crystallize (don’t encourage it by overstirring), or the planets aren’t aligned. Don’t get discouraged; it happens even to professionals.

Chocolate-Almond Buttercrunch Toffee

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop

  • 2 cups (8 ounces, 225g) toasted almonds or hazelnuts, chopped between 'fine' and 'coarse'
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick, 115g) salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • a nice, big pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (45g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces (140g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, or 1 cup chocolate chips

optional: Roasted cocoa nibs and fleur de sel, or another flaky sea salt

1. Lightly oil a baking sheet with unflavored vegetable oil.

2. Sprinkle half the nuts into a rectangle about 8″ x 10″ (20 x 25 cm) 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 300ºF (150ºC) 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.)

5. Strew the chocolate pieces over the top and let stand 2 minutes, then spread in an even layer.


6. 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 and break into pieces to serve. Store in an airtight container, for up to ten days.

Related Recipes and Links

Candy Thermometers

Chocolate FAQs

Chocolate-Covered Caramelized Matzoh Crunch

Triple Chocolate Scotcheroos

Chocolate-Covered Salted Peanut Caramel Cups

The Great Book of Chocolate

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  • Norman Hanson
    December 28, 2005 10:42am

    David, I have been making that candy, or variations on it, for about ten years. Regaradless of what else I put in my Christmas cookie tins, THAT’S WHAT THEY WANT. One year, I think I made fifteen pounds of it. There wasn’t a piece left. So, thanks for bringing it back in another guise. The one I have uses chocolates chips and other not so good stuff. This one is clearly gourmet.


  • December 28, 2005 11:37am

    oh I am so there!!!
    I instead made Minestrone!!
    The snow has started here today too.. not white yet.. think tomorrow will be!

  • December 28, 2005 12:34pm

    David, thanks so much for this gorgeous recipe. Real almond buttercrunch is a personal passion for which I’ve risked both my bank account AND my teeth, on occasion. Though I’ve read many recipes, I’ve never yet attempted it — but you have given me the courage, the will to try. Bonne Année!

  • December 28, 2005 1:25pm

    could you add a bit of acid to the sugar to help keep it from crystalizing too quickly?

  • Judith in Umbria
    December 29, 2005 3:06am

    Here I was thinking winter and snow meant soup and risotto and polenta! (So you don’t sweat while stirring endlessly.)
    My best discovery making toffee etc. is to pour it out onto a Silpat sheet. It works a treat. What works for me is getting it oiut of the house into someone else’s house ASAP.

  • Sammy
    December 29, 2005 6:26am

    I am locked inside (because of snow and ice) here in the south too… which is why I have had the time this morning to discorver your blog. And of course, I am obsessed with chocolate, which makes it really a treat to the senses. Thank you, what a wonderful blog!! *drool*

  • December 29, 2005 11:56am

    My happiest New Year’s ever was a snowy one that included a posh party in the 12th arrondissement. This year it’s nothing but rain one day and 60 degree weather the next. I’m staying home, re-reading The Great Book of Chocolate and drinking cocoa…

  • Martha
    December 29, 2005 12:21pm

    Hi David,

    Happy New Year!!!

    I make a similar candy from a recipe I got from Nick Malgieri.
    I will try your too.

  • December 29, 2005 3:35pm

    Joanne: You could add a small amount of lemon juice, cream of tartar, or corn syrup as an interfering agent, but haven’t found it necessary.

    Julie: This is not a rock-hard toffee, so no dental damage!

  • Kathy
    December 30, 2005 11:40am

    hi, i made a variation of this recipe a few weeks ago and it is delicious! I cook for two and we ended up with mounds of toffee! Stay warm and thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • December 31, 2005 3:12pm

    I’ve made this several times since your class and I love it! (and so does everyone else I’ve given it too)

  • Vince
    January 6, 2006 10:31am

    This is a great recipe, not too hard, definitely gourmet! I am wondering if it is possible to make it even softer, so that it can be sliced into squares before storing? My grandmother made a similar toffe, it was a softer toffee with nuts top and bottom, a softer butter creme tofee layer, and a semi-sweet layer of chocolate. Unfortunately her recipe has been lost and I have been trying to duplicate it for 5 years… Can anyone advise on this?


  • sharla
    January 12, 2006 12:50pm

    hey ur toffee is ok i am doing a speech on toffee can u help me and get me some infornmation that would be gratle appreciated
    sharla offenhammer