10 Toffee and Brittle Recipes Just Right for Holiday Gifting
Tasty and easy to make, brittle and toffee are old-fashioned candies that deserve a spot in the decked-out halls of iconic Christmas treats. We're sharing our best recipes to make right now.
Whipping up a batch of brittle or toffee, like the Almond Croquant shown here, is a fast and fun DIY project where all skill levels will find success. What's more, brittles and toffees make exceptionally good homemade gifts for friends and family near and far. The room temperature shelf-life of a few weeks means there's no worrying about dry ice and best-by dates. Your sweet treats are also sturdy enough to be piled into a tin box, and even if some breakage occurs, no one will be able to tell—unlike a crumbly cookie, these candies look their best when broken into more abstract and jagged pieces.
Though brittle and toffee are a similar kind of candy, there are a couple of distinctions that make each unique. Brittle typically appears translucent and glassy, with a snappy bite and light caramel flavor. There are almost always a ton of nuts or seeds folded into the mix to keep the texture interesting, and only occasionally will a brittle include a little butter. With toffee, butter is an essential ingredient that is used in generous quantities; the outcome is an opaquer candy with a toastier flavor and softer crunch. In toffee, nuts are often incorporated, too, but in smaller amounts. It is common for recipes like to complement the buttery caramel flavor of the toffee with a thin layer of tempered chocolate on top.
Before diving in with these 10 unique recipes, here are a few universal tips to keep in mind if you are new to the candy-making game: Use a light-colored saucepan for cooking the sugar mixture so you can keep a close eye on the ever-changing color—it can turn from perfect amber to a bitter black faster than you'd think. To prevent the mixture from potentially bubbling up over the pan, lightly spray the sides of the saucepan with cooking spray. And lastly, using a candy thermometer to gauge when the candy is ready will be a huge help and make the process more goof-proof, but here's a way to pull it off without one: spoon a little of the sugar syrup onto some very icy water. Let it sit for 10 seconds then pull it out. Your mixture is done when you can cleanly break the test piece in half.
Fleur de Sel Toffee
A sprinkle of gourmet flaky sea salt adds a delightful savory touch to this sweet, buttery toffee, making it a natural candidate for gifting.
Spiced Cashew-Coconut Brittle
This brittle is so full of nuts and pepitas that it breaks up into tasty clusters that will look great in a mason jar with a bow on top. A little cayenne and smoky adobo sauce add an addictive savory side to this snack.
Chocolate-Pecan Butter Crunch
A classic American toffee, this confection is topped with a generous layer of melted chocolate and comes fully loaded with buttery pecans.
No nuts here! This brittle uses sesame seeds and bits of sweet-and-spicy candied ginger to balance the flavor and enhance the texture.
Seeded Honeycomb Brittle
Honeycomb brittle has a texture that is lighter than air and the distinct flavor of, you guessed it, honey. The air bubbles, created by the addition of baking soda, are what give it the appearance of a honeycomb.