Sunday, December 18, 2011

it takes two

surprise surprise.......I'm blogging another treat. what has december done to me?

we made this. 
Robby and I. 
Because he is home now,
on school break.
 and I love it.
(well....home-ish. he's still working of course but no school is the BEST)
we are jumping at every chance we get to play and laugh together. 
because isn't that what marriage is all about? playing and laughing together. 
yes. it is.
we've been doing it for 9 1/2 years.
I highly recommend it.
With his return to school last year, our time together is limited, so we have gotten really good at making the most of our few and precious minutes together. 
We have late (too late sometimes....) movie dates on the couch.
He went to yoga with me last week. 
I sit next to him and pretend I have any interest at all in football.
(hey-I didn't say we were perfect)
Our dates are few and far in between, but Friday night we were able to go to sushi and the new Sherlock Holmes movie.
(which I LOVED)
We help each other out.
I cook, and he whistles like a Disney bird while he helps with the dishes. 
He builds the fire, while I make us our cold care herbal tea, because we are 80, and drink herbal tea together every night.
He likes lots of honey, and I like it plain.
We giggle (his giggle is manly of course), as we wrap up the 
Little's presents and put them under the tree. 
We dream up road trips, and plan out what mountain we'll be climbing next.
(ps we are heading to the Big Basin area soon--anyone been? what should be do?)
He stands behind me with hot water, so when I start to panic and scream "IT'S SEPARATING!!!" He can quickly dump it in the toffee so we can continue on our candy making adventure.
toffee8 copy
Toffee isn't hard to make.....the whole process just moves along very quickly and it can get a little  bit intense on your first few tries. 
The most important thing is that you KEEP STIRRING. I recommend having a helping hand in the kitchen with you so when you start to freak out (hey--you might), someone is there to help out.
English Toffee
1 cup salted butter
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (I like to use dark chocolate)
3/4 cup almonds, toasted and finally chopped.

Toast almonds on medium heat, for a few minutes. 
Pulse in a blender or food processor. 
have almonds and chocolate set aside so they are ready as soon as the toffee is done.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Melt butter, sugar, 2 tsp cold water, and salt together on LOW heat in a saucepan. 
Once it's melted, turn heat a little above medium and stir CONSTANTLY. don't stop stirring.
The mixture will start to thicken and get sticky. 
Keep stirring.
IF the mixture starts to separate into globs of stickiness (legit culinary term), add 1TBS of hot water and continue to stir until mixture comes back together. (You can do this a few times if you need to, just don't add more than 1/4 cup of water)
Continue to stir until mixture starts to deepen in color, and the temperature on a candy thermometer reads between 300°-310°. 
Once temperature is reached, remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Quickly pour onto parchment lined pan (mixture cools quickly), and spread it out with a rubber spatula.
Sprinkle chocolate chips on top, and let them sit for 1-2 minutes until they begin to melt. 
Spread melted chocolate out evenly on top of toffee.
Sprinkle chopped almonds on top and let toffee cool. 
Break into pieces.
toffee 1 copytoffee3 copytoffee2 copytoffee4 copytoffee5 copytoffee6 copy
there you have it.
toffee7 copy
enjoy your toffee.....I have a late night couch date.

What do you like to do with your special someone?


whitneyingram said...

Gosh, these images are stellar. That bottom one--- WOW.

What do we like to do? We like eating at fancy restaurants and eating slow and taking an hour and half to eat. We like to walk around Sur La Table and buy things like hand mixers and fine wire mesh strainers. And we like going to movies and holding hands. Cheesy.

Last night was that and it was the best night EVER.

BTW, last night, Ethan bought these slices of varnished tree stumps from Z Gallerie to use as cheese boards for work. We HAVE to figure out a good way to use them for The Book. They are just the coolest things ever.

Kasey said...

I love love love to make this toffee every December!

Anonymous said...

I've never made such toffee. I need to try it one day :)

Lindsey Jaye Parry said...

Wait, don't tell me you guys are just best friends.

9 1/2 years!? Seriously. You guys ARE old. That, or Robby married you illegally.

susanne @ tall pine nest said...

Ohhhh yum yum! My dad makes something similar every year, but this recipe looks fantastic! Robert, my husband, is allergic to nuts though. I'll have to leave those out.

Unknown said...

My husband and I also love to cook together, although it gets a little hectic sometimes. We made homemade crackers together last weekend and then homemade whole wheat pasta. There may or may not have been bum-pinching while cooking. ;) So fun.

This toffee looks delicious!

Kate said...

Love the pictures! This looks yummy! In the directions, it says to add vanilla. How much do we put in?

Anonymous said...

Looks amazing. I'm definitely filing this away. I'm making so much candy this year in an attempt to moderate my gluten intake. (It's almost like I'm determined to gain holiday weight no matter the restrictions.)

What do we love to do? We love to cook massive homemade meals with at least one super-impressive item on the menu. It's cheaper and less stressful than going out and so fun to shop for!

sheena said...

kate! thanks for pointing out my mistake.....I really shouldn't write recipes late at night:) 1 tsp of vanilla.

Anonymous said...

The toffee looks so delicious! I love your attitude on marriage, and it's why you'll stay happy in your marriage. My husband and I are going on eight years and we are best friends. We love to laugh, hold hands and spend time together, even when that time is limited by all the work, family gatherings and social engagements.

Elise said...

This looks so delicious! I have to try to make it!

carlotta cisternas said...

this looks so delicious. and these images are some of my favorites of yours. so, so pretty.

summer said...

i didn't think i needed toffee this year... but............ now i am not so sure. :) thanks for sharing your pretty pictures and stories, miss sheena!

Stef said...

Aww, it sounds like you two have so much fun together! My husband doesn't get home until 8:15 each night so we have a late dinner together and lately we've been watching a plethora of Christmas movies! We have also been known to play a little Rock Band together to switch things up. :)

Anonymous said...

Enjoying your blog. Enjoying the season. Thanks!

Unknown said...

This is why I live your blog.... Not because of the amazing recipes or wonderful running posts(actually those are some :))but because you LOVE your family. Husband and kids, that's what matters first. Husbands that make best friends are simply perfect, even when they live in front of the tv during football season :) have a merry Christmas!! Love these beautiful pictures, I can just imagine how hard that pouring one to take was!!

Unknown said...

Love not live....

angela hardison said...

so glad i saw this... i have been craving toffee lately! and somehow i've never made it in my whole life.

Courtney said...

You guys are so cute! How has it been almost 10 years already? That is insane. Your toffee looks awesome too btw.

Rachel @ Bakerita said...

These photos are absolutely gorgeous. I love the lighting and pretty much everything about them. Oh, so pretty! And that toffee? Making me drool!!
-Rachel @

Daniel & Mindy said...

okay. i made this & it is DELICIOUS!!!
making a second batch today. i'm going to try to double the recipe. hope thats not a no-no. i guess we'll find out :)

Amanda Lee said...

Made my first toffee following your recipe. And as someone who's never really been crazy about caramel, I think I'm in love. Thank you, for sharing the recipe and an idea for a simple gift. Merry Christmas!

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These toffees look yummy. I want to try them right now.

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