After a bunch of reading regarding why my Take 2 toffee "broke" aka why the butter and sugar separated, I didn't have any answers. Some people said to stir more, some said stir less. Some said stir constantly, some said stir only occasionally. Screw it. I say just use more sugar! If there is an excess of butter, it makes sense to me it's because there's too much butter or not enough sugar. So let's rock this shit.
Toffee Bits, Take 3
adapted from Take 2
1/2 c butter
2/3 c sugar
1-2 tbsp water
pinch kosher salt
Place sugar, butter, water and salt in a small saucepan.
Melt the butter over low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
The heat was set so low, this step occurred over 10 minutes.
Gradually bring to a boil.
Going from melted butter to the images shown immediately above, simmering and boiling (220°F), took about 8 minutes.
Continue boiling until 300°F.
From 243°F, 265°F, 268°F, 283°F, to 301°F took a total of 15 minutes.
Stir candy and pour evenly across a parchment lined large baking sheet.
And just look at the butter. While there is some leaking it was a million times less than the butter that leaked from Take 2!
Let toffee cool until hardened.
Proof of hardened toffee: grab two opposing corners of the parchment and see if the candy is stiff as a brick when laid across the edges of the baking sheet. Mine was hard within 20 minutes.
Accidentally crack the toffee. Blot the toffee with coffee filters.
Drop the toffee onto a parchment-lined baking sheet to break into smaller pieces.
Fold the parchment over the toffee and smash the candy into bits with a measuring glass.
At around 290°F, I gave a little stir, just to see what was happening and I could see that the butter and toffee were separate. You can sort of tell in the last photo showing the thermometer in the pan. Once at 301°F, I removed the thermometer and then gave it a fairly vigorous stir. Noticing I was sloshing some butter out of the pan, I stopped and poured the mixture onto the parchment-line baking sheet. It looked great!
I realize now that there might be something to stirring very vigorously at the end of cooking - it's like getting the butter to go into the caramels. Consider this a eureka moment.
Either way, there seemed to be much less butter pooling this time around and I know I didn't slosh that much out while stirring. Using more sugar certainly seems to have a positive effect. I'll do it again just to be sure. Actually, I had started another batch while this one was hardening.
- sugar: $0.15
- butter: $0.54
Total: $0.69 for 1.5 cups of toffee bits.