Here’s another fair trade recipe experiment! This recipe is from our Aunt, who makes this scrumptious Butter Crunch Toffee every year for holiday gifts. She sends a batch to all her siblings, and at my house, it barely lasted a few days as we all kept eating “just one more tiny piece!”
Making candy is very different from other kinds of sweets as the amounts and temperatures have to be very precise. We wanted to see how using fair trade ingredients would effect the recipe. After doing a side-by-side comparison of a fair trade batch and a non-fair trade batch, we found that using fair trade sugar made the toffee a little softer, more flaky perhaps, and it didn’t stick in your teeth as much. We attributed this to the fact that the fair trade Wholesome Sweetener Sugar is un-refined, with larger particles than regular white sugar. The fair trade chocolate and nuts acted the same as non-fair trade ingredients because they weren’t actually cooked.
We wracked our brains to figure out a fair trade alternative to corn syrup, thinking maybe another kind of syrup could work like Agave, but we have yet to try it. We’d be curious to know if anyone in the fair trade baking/cooking community has experimented with this as it’d be nice to get away from using corn syrup.
Fair Trade Butter Crunch Almond Toffee
Makes 1 lb.
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup fair trade sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup fair trade almonds, chopped fine (or you could use fair trade cashews)
- 4 oz. fair trade chocolate (chips or bar chopped up since it will be melted)
1) Melt butter in 2 qt. saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and add the sugar. Stir until bended.
2) Return pan to low heat and stir rapidly until it sugar and butter are thoroughly mixed and begins to bubble.
3) Add water and corn syrup. Mix well. Place candy thermometer into pan and keep heat low.
4) Cook mixture to 290 degrees, stirring frequently – takes about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat immediately. Sprinkle in nuts and quickly mix in.
5) Pour out mixture on lightly greased marble slab (or cookie sheet). Use flat spatula to spread mixture to 1/4″ thick. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. As it cools it will start to harden. Loosen edges of toffee with spatula a couple times as it cools. Eventually you will be able to loosen the whole thing.
6) Melt chocolate in the microwave or use a double boiler. Spread evenly over toffee using a butter knife or small spatula.
7) Set aside until toffee is firm and chocolate stiffens. Best to flip once top side is firm. When firm, break toffee into whatever size pieces you prefer.
8) Store toffee in an air-tight container – although it’s so tasty it might not last long enough to be stored 😉