Every year at Christmas time, Nellie gives me the most delicious gift of her homemade English toffee which actually tastes just like Almond Rocca. And every year, it takes everything in my will power NOT to devour the entire contents of the gift before getting home. I manage to just barely save a piece or two for Rick who is a chocolate nut! He has no idea how many pieces of toffee are originally in the bag and he probably wrongly thinks that Nellie gives me a meager sampling of her chocolate artistry and that I am so generous as to share that little portion with him. Rick is an avid reader of my blog, so now the cat’s out of the bag: I prefer savory to sweet, but when it comes to Nellie’s toffee, I am out of control.
Last year, I asked Nellie if she would teach me how to make English toffee. She told me that she makes it with her partner’s mom, Jean. She asked Jean if I could join in on the English Toffee making this year and Jean said YES! How lucky I am!
It was a great experience all around. First of all, I learned that we are NOT to call this Almond Rocca because Almond Rocca is a commercial name of a product. Almond Rocca is to English toffee as Kleenex is to tissue. Almond Rocca is made in Tacoma, Washington and if I were to call what we made Almond Rocca, the company would catch wind of it via my blog and we’d all be nailed big time. It has happened before, so English toffee it is!
The best part of the English toffee making morning and afternoon was meeting Nellie’s partner, Marc, his sister Morgan, his mom Jean, and his dad Phil. Everyone was involved in this amazing process of turning butter, sugar, chocolate, and nuts into can’t-stop-eating English toffee. Marc and his family are so welcoming and warm and I felt as if I had known them for years.
One batch fills three cookie sheets. Jean, with the help of Nellie, Marc, and Morgan, makes 12 batches every year to give as gifts! She has been doing this tradition for many many years! I got to make at least one batch pretty much from start to finish. I will refrain from giving the recipe away because it is Jean’s English Toffee and I was just lucky enough that she agreed to share her recipe with me. Don’t despair because, certainly, there are recipes for English toffee available on line. For me, it was watching the process and having the hands on experience with a pro that made all the learning difference in the world. Thank you, Jean!
I didn’t get to see the breaking of the toffee into bits because the chocolate needs some time to set and I had to go home. Yeah for English Toffee!
Tags: English toffee