English Toffee with Pecans

This classic English Toffee is easy to make.  Just a few ingredients and a bit of time at all that’s required.

This recipe makes 2 lb. of toffee, but if you want less, feel free to cut the recipe in half.

Special equipment needed:

Large edged sheetpan (aka jelly roll pan) – 12×17 or 10×15

Candy thermometer

  • Author: Laura
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins, plus cooling
  • Yield: 1 - 12x17 pan 1x
  • Category: Candy
  • Method: Stovetop



For the toffee

  • 1 lb (2 cups, or 4 sticks, 454g)) butter, unsalted
  • 2 c (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c water
  • 1 t salt

For the Chocolate Coating

  • 2 c (10-11 oz.) Bittersweet or Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 c toasted pecans, chopped


Make the toffee

  1. Line sheetpan with parchment paper, foil, or Silpat. In a heavy saucepan (3-4 qt.) with a candy thermometer attached, melt the butter.  Add sugar, water and salt.
  2. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Turn heat up a bit, and, stirring constantly, heat to 295 degrees. (This could take 15-20 minutes) The idea is to heat it to 300F, but the temperature increases pretty rapidly in range of 270 and higher, so that if you take it off the heat at 295F, it will probably reach 300 by time you pour it onto the pan.  If you wait to 300F, work quickly, as it will burn pretty quickly if you go much above 300.
  3. Carefully pour the hot liquid over a buttered 12×17 Sheetpan, lifting and moving the sheetpan around a bit to make sure it is spread evenly.

Top with chocolate layer

  1. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the toffee.  Wait 5 minutes, then spread evenly over the toffee layer.
  2. Sprinkle chopped nuts across the melted chocolate, and press gently into the chocolate.
  3. Allow to cool at room temperature for 2-3 hours, or place in refrigerator for at least 30-45 minutes. Then break into pieces.
  4. Store pieces in an airtight container.  Ok to put in refrigerator or freezer for longer-term storage.


For easier (or more even) breakage, you can score the toffee with a pizza cutter after pouring it into the pan.  Just wait a couple minutes, and, being careful to not go completely through the soft toffee, score into a grid pattern.  Then top with the chocolate and the nuts.  When hardened, it’s a bit easier to break into evenly sized pieces.

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