My favorite part of the holiday season is making and sharing English toffee. I used to think this sweet, candy treat was hard to make, but I've fiddled with the recipe enough that now it's easy peasy! Since I can't make toffee for everyone, I thought I would share a book and a recipe!
Enjoy and stay safe this season!
RECIPE - Erin's English Toffee
1 lb Butter
2 3/4 sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups whole plain almonds
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions: In a large saucepan, combine salt, butter, and sugar over medium heat until butter is completely melted. With a wooden spoon, stir in 1 cup of whole almonds and increase heat to medium-high. Continue stirring (10+ minutes) until the mixture starts to darken and reaches hard crack stage. (This is the easy peasy part, BUT, you may start to worry you've done it wrong. Fear not, because yes, it takes 10+ minutes, and yes, the butter may separate a little from the toffee and it might look like you're pushing a sugary, lump of brownish goo through a lake of butter. But keep going until it reaches hard crack stage. To know if you've reached hard crack stage, put a glass bowl of cold water right next to your stovetop. When your candy starts to darken, drop a bit of the mix into the water. Feel it with your fingers right away. If it's hard and cracks when you bite the piece, your toffee is done!!!! If it starts to smell burnt, you've cooked it too long.)
Pour candy mixture onto a large flat metal pan or cookie sheet. Use a rubber spatula to spread the thick, toffee on the pan. Let it cool for 3-5 minutes, then sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the toffee.
Wait another 3-5 minutes as the chocolate chips melt. Then use a spatula to smooth the chocolate over the toffee. Immediately sprinkle chopped almonds on the spread chocolate. Let the candy cool overnight, or put in the fridge for an hour, then break it apart and DEVOUR!
Why I recommend it: I have a daughter. She's in grade school, and I've seen her little heart get broken by others. We've talked about being kind and including others. I've encouraged my girl to reach out to others, find out about their lives, and be a friend. I like Elizabeth Eulberg's book because it's witty, funny, and the character arcs show how empathy and compassion and kindness can change peoples' lives. This is a must read for YA girls!
You resent her. You can't stand her. You might even hate her.
But you don't know her at all.
Hope knows there's only one thing coming between her and her longtime crush: his girlfriend, Parker. She has to sit on the sidelines and watch as the perfect girl gets the perfect boy . . . because that's how the universe works, even though it's so completely wrong.
Parker doesn't feel perfect. She knows if everyone knew the truth about her, they'd never be able to get past it. So she keeps quiet. She focuses on making it through the day with her secret safe . . . even as this becomes harder and harder to do. And Hope isn't making it any easier. . . .
In Just Another Girl, Elizabeth Eulberg astutely and affectingly shows us how battle lines get drawn between girls -- and how difficult it then becomes to see or understand the girl standing on the other side of the divide.
You think you have an enemy. But she's just another girl.