Chocolate Bar Toffee. Delicious easy to make treat for the Holiday season.

I served this Chocolate Bar Toffee to all the shoppers at the Kirkland’s Grand Opening Event last week. It was a huge hit and I want to share the recipe with you guys now. (Don’t forget to go enter the giveaway for a $100 gift card to Kirkland’s!)

This Toffee is so stinkin’ easy to make. I don’t generally enjoy cooking and baking, but I do enjoy delicious food, so when I do bake, it better be an easy recipe that is extra yummy. I have no patience for mediocre recipes. To make this Toffee, you only need 6 ingredients. It is that easy. The only tricky part about the entire recipe is you have to use a candy thermometer. Don’t let that scare you away though. They are only a few bucks at the grocery store and are simple to use.

To make Chocolate Bar Toffee, you will need the following 6 ingredients:

Sugar, water, finely chopped almonds, chopped walnuts (or pecans), butter, and chocolate bars. I use my mini-prep Cuisinart food processor to chop all the almonds and walnuts. So quick and easy (and dang, I didn’t realize it came in so many colors).

*Note: When you make this toffee, you MUST use a stainless steel saucepan. I have tried it several times (I’m a glutton for punishment) with my non-stick pans and the toffee will not set. I purchased an inexpensive pot from ikea (their 365+ line) and it works great, even though the pot is less than $10.

The full recipe will be at the bottom of this post.

Step 1: On medium heat, melt your butter in your stainless steel saucepan.

Once melted, add your water and sugar.

When the butter and sugar mixture starts to boil (about 8 minutes later), add your finely chopped almonds.

Continue boiling the mixture stirring it constantly. This is the most tedious part. I timed it and after the initial 8 minutes, it was an additional 22 minutes, for a total of 30 minutes stirring. These are approximate times though. Watch the thermometer and go off that.

After what feels like an eternity (30 minutes) your toffee will turn dark and you will start to worry that you are overcooking it. Don’t worry, it is not burnt! You want to cook it to 302 degrees fahrenheit.

When the tempertaure reaches 302 degrees F, pour the toffee onto a greased jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with a lip around it).

If you don’t have jelly roll pans, GO BUY SOME. If you own nothing else for baking, own jelly roll pans! You will use them for everything – baking toffee, cookies, pizza, sheet cake (I need to give you my recipe for that!), bacon, you name it. I use them for random other things like craft projects (great for containing glitter) and to hold screws while putting together furniture. They are also great as trays when cooking meat on the grill. My mom got me these jelly roll pans for Christmas last year. They are from Costco and came with two big ones and one small one. ::End of tangent::

Once you pour your toffee onto your jelly roll pan, quickly spread it out using a spreader.

The mixture spreads very easily and will settle into the pan, but it sets quickly as it cools, so don’t waste time on this step!

Once your toffee is evenly spread, top it with pieces of chocolate bar.

Just plop them down all over the top and let them sit there for a minute or two.

The toffee will quickly melt the chocolate even though the chocolate won’t lose its shape. Take your spreader and evenly spread the chocolate all over the top of the toffee. I usually use King-Sized Hershey bars (the Symphony bars are even better), but I have also used the milk chocolate bars from IKEA and they are amazing.

Sprinkle the top of the chocolate with chopped walnuts (or pecans) and pop it in the fridge for a few hours until the toffee and chocolate are firm.

To serve, break the toffee into small pieces. To do this, I use a paring knife and gently poke the toffee starting at the edge (not too hard though or you will ding your jelly roll pan!). It should just break apart on its own.

Place all the pieces of toffee into an air tight container and store in the fridge or room temperature (don’t store anywhere warm or the chocolate will melt). I prefer to keep mine in the fridge. I like my toffee cold when I eat it!

So easy, and super delicious! Trust me, your friends will think you are the bomb dot com if you make these for them this holiday season. Many customers at Kirkland’s thought I was giving away samples of toffee that the store was selling and kept asking where they could buy it! I told them I was so sorry but they were going to have to make it on their own. It is that good. People literally thought it was store-bought. (Of course, I do recognize that some things, like Rice Krispie Treats, are one-thousand times better home-made.)

And now, for the recipe. You will want to pin this one. Trust me –>

Chocolate Bar Toffee

4 sticks butter
2 C sugar
1/2 C water
1/2 C finely chopped almonds
2 large Chocolate Bars (king sized)
1 C finely chopped pecans or walnuts (I prefer walnuts)

*Must use a metal saucepan that does not contain any non-stick material.

Melt butter in saucepan. Add sugar and water. Once boiling add almonds. Boil until it reaches 302 degrees or hard ball/crack stage. Stir constantly. Pour in a greased cookie sheet and spread out evenly. Put Hershey squares on top. Spread chocolate once melted. Top with pecans or walnuts. Place in fridge until hard. Break into pieces and store in air tight container in fridge. Recipe from


Turn gift bags into {cheap} art

Every summer during my childhood my mom would pack up her daughters, and her best friend would pack up her two girls and we would hit the road for our annual “no boys allowed” beach vacation (they both have only daughters. No sons were left out). The moms we’re dubbed (and still to this day are called) “Beach Barbara” and “Beach Lynda”. We would stay at a condo for a week, eat all the fresh boiled shrimp we could, and play in the sand and surf from sun up to sun down. Of course, there were plenty of shenanigans going on as well. With 5 girls all within a few years of each other we reeked plenty of havoc and made a few too many boys cry.

Though all the girls are grown and mostly married, and there are lots of grand-babies added to the mix, my mom and sisters still try to have our annual beach trip. Some years we’ve missed, and it’s been far too many years since I’ve sat on the beach with my mom’s bestie Lynda, but because of our yearly tradition I have very fond memories of the beach.

My mother thinks that there are beaches in heaven. And she thinks her veins bleed salt water. She is happiest during our beach trips and if she could live among the seagulls and sand crabs I think she would.

So when I saw this gift bag that read “Life is good at the beach” I just had to buy it for her.

Of course, there really isn’t much you can do with a gift bag except maybe put a gift in it. But the coloring is pretty, and the letters are nice, and the overall look would be fabulous as art.

This really is quite a simple tutorial. I headed over to the dollar store and bought an 8×10 dollar frame.

Make sure to get a frame that is roughly the same size as your gift bag.

To frame the bag, cut it up one side and lay it out flat. Then just trace it around the glass in the frame and cut the bag to size. So easy.

Such an easy way to make pretty art. I’ve already given it to my mom and she loves it. I keep telling her she can tuck it away on a bathroom counter, but she insists on keeping it on her mantle so she can see it ever day. Even though I’m 32, she still keeps my art around to appease me. 😉

The frame with the girls in it I’ve had for years and years. It’s a framed picture of me with two of my sisters during one of our beach vacations. I think it was taken in about 1996 when I was 16, Lindsey was 14, and Merideth was 12. Even after all these years the picture still makes me smile with fond memories.

Here’s a pinterest-ready picture if you feel so inclined to pin it. Your friends that don’t read my blog (gasp!) will thank you for sharing this simple idea with them.

Do you have any life-long traditions? I would really love to hear them! I love traditions and think they are so important. Spill your guts and tell us yours.


God bless the USA

Happy Independence week!

I just stumbled across these photos from 2007 of my lil’ chicklets on the morning of July 4th, 2007 at a community parade:

I wish I could go back in time and give them a big squishy hug at that age just one more time. I miss their 5 and 3 year old selves.

Quick announcement: Because July 4th is on Wednesday this year I am skipping the weekly Hookin’ Up with HoH Link Party this week.

No need to race home from setting off fireworks to link up, amIright?!

The party will resume as usual next week on July 11th.

I’m taking the rest of the week off to spend time with my family as we try not to burn down the house with our Roman Candles this Wednesday.

Make sure to check back this Friday to meet another one of my bloggy friends as part of my Hangin’ Out all Summer series.

Have a great week and if you are an American, enjoy celebrating your Independence and Freedom! Don’t ever take it for granted.

“If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life and I had to start again with just my children and my wife I’d thank my lucky stars to be livin here today, ’cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.

“And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free. And I wont forget the men who died who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, ’cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land. God bless the USA.

“From the lakes of Minnesota to the hills of Tennessee. Across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea. From Detroit down to Houston and New York to L.A., well there’s pride in every American heart and its time we stand and say….

“That I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free. And I wont forget the men who died who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, ’cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land. God bless the USA.”

– God Bless The USA by Lee Greenwood


Last year we celebrated the 4th of July from the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. It was the coolest day ever. Read all about it!

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