From “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” (Knopf, $35). Author Deb Perelman describes this toffee as “grown-up” toffee, almost as bitter as it is sweet.
8 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon table salt or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (toasted, skinned, and cooled) or another nut of your choice
Line a small baking sheet (mine is 9-by-13-inch) with parchment paper or a silicon mat, and set aside.
In a medium-sized heavy saucepan with a candy thermometer attached, melt butter, both sugars, molasses, salt and espresso together over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally with a whisk, until the temperature approaches 250 degrees; then stir constantly until it reaches 300 degrees.
Pour immediately onto the prepared baking sheet – spread evenly with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the toffee, let them sit for a minute until soft, then spread the chocolate evenly over the candy base.
Sprinkle the chocolate with chopped hazelnuts, and then, if you’re as impatient as we are, you can slide the sheet onto a cooling rack in the freezer until the toffee is set.
Break the toffee into pieces and store in an airtight container. If your kitchen runs warm, you might prefer to keep it in the fridge so the chocolate doesn’t get sticky.
Yield: About 1 1/2 pounds toffee