12 Treats of Christmas: Chocolate-Topped Toffee (Stewart Christmas Candy)

Stewart Christmas Candy Brings Memories of Years Past

Prior to getting married, my husband (then boyfriend) told me one Christmas that he needed to go buy candy tins because he was going to make Christmas Candy for everyone in his office.  Now, while my husband is very helpful in the kitchen, a candy maker he is not.   So, being the needling wife (then girlfriend) that I am, I dug a little further and found out that Christmas Candy was a homemade chocolate-topped toffee that his dad’s family has been making for decades.  He then lovingly pulled out and shared three hand-written recipe cards that he had collected from various family members over the years, telling me who had written each one and a little about each person.

Since then, Christmas Candy is made at least once a year in our household, and this year I took a crack at the recipe to share with you as part of our 12 Treats of ChristmasNow, warning to those Stewart family members reading this, I did make a few alterations to the recipe along the way (adding some salt and switching up the topping options a bit). You will have to forgive me for my creative license.

Chocolate-Topped Toffee

Ingredients:


1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1/8 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


6 Hershey’s full-size chocolate bars (dark or milk – I prefer dark)
1 cup pecan halves and/or course sea salt for topping

Directions:

Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper so there is some hanging over each edge.

Put butter, sugar, salt and water in a small sauce pan on the stove.  Turn to medium heat and stir until butter is melted.

Once butter is melted, either put a candy thermometer in the toffee mixture and cook (stirring periodically with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula) for about 25 minutes until a medium brown color and about 255 F on your candy thermometer. Or cook at medium heat (4/5) on the stove for 25 minutes until you reach a medium brown color and begin to smell the toffee.

When complete, remove the toffee from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.  Then quickly pour the toffee into your prepared pan and spread to coat the bottom of the pan.  Let sit for about 5 minutes.

Once the top of the toffee starts to set, but is still very warm, lay the six candy bars across the toffee (with the Hershey’s logos facing down) and gently spread the chocolate to coat the toffee as it melts.

While still warm, sprinkle the chocolate with the pecan halves and/or sea salt.

Put the pan in the fridge for about 2 hours until completed cooled through and hardened.  Then lift out the toffee using the edges of your parchment paper and either break up into pieces by hand or using a large knife.

Store in the fridge in a parchment lined tin or container until ready to serve. (If you live up north, you may be able to store this at room temperature, but in Florida our winter weather is wet and sometimes warm, so I find the fridge works the best).

Enjoy Stewart Christmas Candy!

Julia

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Chocolate-Topped Toffee (aka Stewart Christmas Candy)

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1/8 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 Hershey's full-size chocolate bars (dark or milk - I prefer dark)
1 cup pecan halves and/or course sea salt for topping

Directions:

Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper so there is some hanging over each edge.

Put butter, sugar, salt and water in a small sauce pan on the stove. Turn to medium heat and stir until butter is melted.

Once butter is melted, either put a candy thermometer in the toffee mixture and cook (stirring with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula) for about 25 minutes until a medium brown color and about 255 F on your candy thermometer. Or cook at medium heat (4/5) on the stove for 25 minutes until you reach a medium brown color and begin to smell the toffee.

When complete, remove the toffee from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Then quickly pour the toffee into your prepared pan and spread to coat the bottom of the pan. Let sit for about 5 minutes.

Once the top of the toffee starts to set, but is still very warm, lay the six candy bars across the toffee (with the Hershey's logos facing down) and gently spread the chocolate to coat the toffee as it melts.

While still warm, sprinkle the chocolate with the pecan halves and/or sea salt.

Put the pan in the fridge for about 2 hours until completed cooled through and hardened. Then lift out the toffee using the edges of your parchment paper and either break up into pieces by hand or using a large knife.

Store in the fridge in a parchment lined tin or container until ready to serve. (If you live up north, you may be able to store this at room temperature, but in Florida our winter weather is wet and sometimes warm, so I find the fridge works the best).

Enjoy Stewart Christmas Candy!

Julia

Julia Montgomery Stewart

Nicknamed “Julia Child” at a young age, our own Julia is most at home in the kitchen. Lately, she has combined her culinary talents with a new hobby—fitness and healthy living. As a result, her recipes reflect an intriguing balance between eating well without sacrificing flavor. Outside the home, Julia is a consummate event planner, and spent the first ten years of her career as a publicist before expanding her portfolio of talents with the launch of Live Pretty in 2010. Balancing the busy demands of career and family, Julia lives with her husband and daughter in Orlando, Florida. In addition to her work in marketing, she serves a number of community organizations and initiatives in Central Florida.

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