I’m not big on sharing recipes because I usually make pretty humble fixings or follow a recipe from one of my many Ina Garten cookbooks. But every Christmas there is one thing I am required to make by my friends and family… Buttercrunch. My mom made it at Christmas time. It’s a pecan covered toffee that is pretty darn addictive. I’ve been making it for as long as I can remember and giving it as gifts or party favors. It’s become such a tradition, that I fear I will still be making this when I’m 95 and can’t even eat the stuff! Last year I gave some to the sweet 80 year old man that works the pistachio booth at the Saturday Farmer’s market. For a year he has been asking me when I’m going to bring him some more. He’s so excited that the holidays are finally upon us so he can get his candy fix!
So here’s the deal. The reason I only make Buttercrunch once a year is not because it’s difficult, but it is a bit time consuming and you can only have so much of a good thing.
Do yourself a favor and if you don’t have one, get a candy thermometer, as it makes the task of figuring out if the candy is at “hard crack” stage a whole lot easier.
1 cup of melted butter
1 ⅓ cup of sugar
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
3 Tbsp water
16 oz of semi sweet chocolate (or if you have a really sweet tooth milk chocolate) divided in half
1 ½ cup of chopped pecans, divided into three ½ cup portions
1. Grease a 13″x 9″x 2″ pan.
2. Cook butter, sugar, corn syrup and water over medium heat to hard crack stage (300°), stirring often . When it reaches 300, add ½ cup of pecans and quickly pour into pan and let cool.
3. Melt 8oz. of chocolate in a double boiler. Spread over candy, sprinkle with half the pecans, and let cool.
4. Turn candy over and repeat.
5. Break into pieces and freeze.
I love that you can make it ahead and freeze it until you need it. This came in handy one year when I thought it would be a nice idea to give every couple at our annual Christmas party a bag of Buttercrunch as a party favor. Eight batches of the stuff later and I couldn’t even eat it again until the following year. Lesson learned. Be careful who you gift it to or you may find yourself making it every year whether you want to or not!