Although I love to cook and do it a lot, making candy has always intimidated me. Yes, I know. I guess it is the requirements of temperature, soft ball, hard crack, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, when I got this recipe from my cousin Doris (she's actually my mom's cousin, but I digress, again) I thought it sounded pretty straight forward.
Here's what you need.
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1-12 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Here's the method.
On a foil lined baking sheet, arrange the pecan halves in single layer over about 2/3 of the sheet.
In a sauce pan, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly until butter is melted. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to brown , about 7-9 minutes. I know, it sounds like a long time-it's worth it! If you are a slave to the candy thermometer, you are looking for 300 degrees. At that time, pour the hot mixture over the pecans on the baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle the whole bag of chocolate chips over the hot butter concoction. Wait a minute, and then use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly over the cooling toffee. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts and allow to cool. You can speed this up by placing the sheet pan in the fridge. I use a fork to break up the toffee into pieces. This makes a great gift. Seriously, it is possible not to eat it all yourself. Or so I've heard!