I’m knee-deep in Christmas preparations but never too busy to make a few favorites. I love the Christmas holiday and I look forward to the family traditions we’ve established over the years. One one of them of course, is holiday goodies. This year I veered off the grain free path to make our favorite gluten-free and dairy free gingerbread, sugar cookies, and pie dough cookies.
I usually make a few different types of candy but just wanted to stick to one this year (maybe two if I have extra time) and settled on toffee. I really wanted to try to use coconut sugar as much as possible in the baking this year as it is one of healthier forms of unrefined sugar.
I don’t have many toffee prep pictures for you because I burned the 1st batch so I kept an eagle eye on the 2nd batch and kept my spoon moving which made it impossible to take prep pictures. The first batch I didn’t add water and I cooked it the traditional way. Once it started boiling I didn’t stir it and allowed it to get to 280 or so. One second it was looking fantastic and I was sending pictures to my friend Kelly in Florida and to my husband where he was getting the car repaired….and the next second it was smoking and completely separated. It turned ugly very quickly. That’s what I get I guess for sending out pictures and boasting about my beautiful toffee!
So the second batch I added a little water and stirred it the entire time. I also stayed off the phone and didn’t pay much attention to the thermometer. I just eyeballed it and about 10 seconds before I felt it was going to get too thick and burn I whisked it off the burner and poured it into the pan. Less than 8 minutes from the beginning of when it began to boil. Then I topped it with dairy free mini chocolate chips and toasted coconut and pecans and crossed my fingers that it would set up properly. Thankfully, it was a success and tastes wonderful! The coconut sugar gives it an extra strong toffee flavor and the color is a deep and rich, velvety brown.
Great for snacking and beautiful for gift giving.
Toasted Coconut Pecan Toffee
About 1/4 Cup of Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
About 1/3 Cup of Chopped Pecans
1 Cup of Dairy Free Butter
1 1/3 Cups of Coconut Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Water
1/4 teaspoon of Sea Salt
1/2 Cup of Miniature Dairy Free Chocolate Chips
Measure the coconut and chopped pecans into a large skillet and toast on medium heat until the coconut is golden and you can smell the nuts toasting. Set aside. Line a small baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
In a heavy pan or dutch oven, measure the sugar, butter, water, and salt. Heat on medium stirring constantly. It will take a couple of minutes for the sugar and butter to incorporate. Once it starts boiling, keep a good eye on it and stir it the entire time. You can use a thermometer but with the first batch I did, it was clear that coconut sugar and dairy free butter don’t need to get up to 280 to form toffee and if they do, they will likely burn and separate. I removed mine from the burner when it was getting very thick to the point where my spoon marks were remaining in the mixture as I stirred.
At the point where you pour it out of the pan, you’re going to have to work very quickly. Pour it and then pick up the pan to spread it around. Don’t use a spoon or spatula as it will glob up and stick. Then, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top, wait for about 3 minutes and spread them out over the top of the toffee. Sprinkle with the coconut and pecan mixture and chill for 20-30 minutes to set.