Monday, December 22, 2008

When my family was here over Thanksgiving we embarked on a toffee making journey. Not to brag, because truth be told I really don't make it myself, it is the most wonderful toffee I have ever had. My mom and sister started making this toffee and selling it a few years ago when everyone they gave it to begged for more. They made it for a few years around holidays and then were too busy to do it recently. And if truth be told, if you want to sell this and really make a profit it would go for 30.00 a pound. They sold it for 16.00 a lb and it just wasn't worth the effort, expense, etc. Now we just make if for family and friends. But if you ever wondered why some candy costs so much more then others, let me share with you the process of this one.

First it takes teamwork and precision. My mom has this down to an exact art of measurements and time. I guess when you are making hundreds of pounds for a craft show you get it down to a science. In this picture our busy elves are working hard. That is my Dad, sister, and WB over by the stove. They are the stirrers. We've got two pots going here of the toffee mixture. You stir for an exact amount of time. If you go just a few seconds too long or a few seconds too short you can alter the taste dramatically or ruin it all together. The color we are going for is almond. We had strong armed people on the job!

This batch was ruined. My sister knew almost right away. Several did this. After a call to her pastry chef friend in Houston, we decided the butter was getting to warm before it was going into the pan. See, it's so picky!!

Next is my Mom and Em. They are preparing the pans for the toffee mixture to be poured into. They've lined the pan with foil, Em has traced an exact area for the toffee to be poured from a template my mom cut out of foil. On this area Em places whole almonds. This ensures the toffee is just the right thickness and has just the right amount of nuts.

You'll notice Little One in the background is thoroughly engaged in this process.

Each batch makes 2 lbs. You can not double the recipe etc. because it won't work. It really is an exact science. My dad is over by the sink cleaning his stirring spoon. After each batch the pans have to be completely cleaned and dried. One drop of water will ruin the next batch.

So as you can see there is a lot of stirring, pouring, cleaning going on. This process took one whole afternoon for 20 lbs. or so. After it cools, then you have to dip it in chocolate and roll it in crushed walnuts. Another days adventure which I do not have pictures of because I did this solo. My hands were a little to messy for picture taking! But here is the finished product.

We wrap up the pieces in a pretty tin and give out to all our friends and family.

That's my memorable moment for this Monday? Do you have a special Christmas candy?

1 comment:

Pat's Place said...

Yum!! I hope we are on your gift list! I tasted it several years ago and it is wonderful!