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
houseofhepworths.com

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 houseofhepworths.com.


     

Banishment of the game room blinds

We moved from a suburban neighborhood where I could see into 5 other people’s homes from my back deck, out to the country where we have more than an acre of privacy and tons of trees (and if you can believe it, we paid a lot less for this house than the previous one). One of the perks is that I can’t see into anyone’s house from my backyard (and no one can see into my house). Because of the awesome privacy I was able to take the blinds down in our family room and not worry about any Peeping Toms.

I have enjoyed being blinds-free in our family room so much that I got a wild hair and took down all the blinds in the game room as well! (The fact that they were broken and completely disgusting made the choice a lot easier.) Our game room also faces the backyard, so we have a lot of privacy (I will keep the blinds on the front of the house though because you can see into our house from the street).

I think removing the blinds has made a big impact already. Here’s what the windows looked like when we bought the house. We quickly took down the curtains, but the blinds stayed up for several months afterward.

I am planning on hanging curtains in the game room though because it is nice to be able to make it darker to watch movies or play video games. Also, whenever we have people stay over, they sleep in the game room, so they might not want the sun to wake them up at 6am. I have to figure out what curtains to hang, but I really love the way these red curtains from ikea looked in our last game room when we staged the house to sell, so I might do this again. (They will need an extra black-out layer added though.)

Anyone else blinds-phobic? I never thought I’d be the type of person to remove all my blinds, but seriously, I love it. The sun just flows in freely now. And I don’t know about you, but the weather really affects my mood so the more light the better.


     

A family room update

Hey guys! I realized I haven’t updated you on the family room – where we spend the majority of our time – since we moved in.

Here’s what it looked like when we moved in:

I have spent 4 months moving chairs around and decrapifying all the piles of decor and frames that got dumped in there. Coming up with a chair configuration was making me a little insane. You can see from all the before pictures that I kept moving chairs in, then out, then swapping them, then changing their angle, etc.

In this photo from the house tour everything has been moved around again. It’s always so hard to get your furniture to fit properly in a new house. Sometimes it takes me several tries. (I have moved my office and craft stuff 5x times already.)

About a month ago I pulled down all the blinds in the family room. We left them up for a few months just to see if I would ever want to close them, but we realized we love the huge windows and all the light pouring in, so I took them down. Here’s a picture before removal.

My little DIYer-in-training helped take them down. He is almost 12 now and is quickly becoming a great little side-kick when I tackle projects. If it involves a screwdriver, or climbing a ladder, or using a power-tool, or better yet, doing anything that he thinks is out of the ordinary, he is all over it. His favorite? Any reason to get on the roof. Eek.

Removing the blinds made a huge difference. The windows now have cleaner lines, and even though it was only about 6-inches-tall worth of blinds, the light just seems to pour in so much more now.

  

Here is how the room currently looks:

I added a few new pieces of furniture, and then raided my accessories stash. I think just adding a coffee table, some decor, and a few pillows really takes a room from boring and unfinished looking to polished. And ps, yes, I realize the rug is ridiculously too small for the space. I’m workin’ on it!

Granted, I have loads of work to still do in here. As you have probably noticed by now, I am trying to pick a paint color for in here. Because of all the natural light, the colors look very different throughout the day. A color I thought I would love looks great at 10am but I hate it at 3pm. This is a tricky room! I am pretty sure I have chosen a color though, so now I need to start painting.

In addition to needing to paint the walls, I painted the back door black and the trim around the door a new coat of white. The black still needs a second coat so don’t look too closely. This picture was taken while standing in our piano room (it’s suppose to be a dining room but we are using it as a piano room).

Like I said, I purchased a few new pieces of furniture to give the room a more finished look (it still has a long way to go, but you know what I mean). I bought the bookshelf next to the tv, and the coffee table and side table from ikea. I quickly stuffed a bunch of chachkies and decor on the shelf, but it is in no way finished being “styled”.

And here’s one more of the family room, but from the opposite angle looking towards the front door and piano room. Do you spy my orange curtains? I temporarily tacked them up yesterday to see if I will like them in there (I do!) so once that room gets a fresh paint job I will permanently hang those curtains again. Did you think I would leave them at the old house? Heck no!

And just for fun, here are the official MLS photos of the family room. Isn’t it so crazy how two people can make a room look so different? I obviously have very different (and less formal) taste than the previous owners.

I love seeing the befores and afters next to each other so I don’t have to keep scrolling up and down, so here you go!

previous owner & currently:

before & after:

before & after:


     
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