I’m in the midst of pre-Christmas cookie and candy making, and besides the frozen doughs and stuff that needs to age, candy is something that I can make a little ahead of time. I’ve already made brittle, and a failed recipe of fudge (that I will conquer!), and next up was toffee.
After already finding that I could use other mix-ins and spices in my basic toffee recipe, I decided on hazelnuts, and from there came the idea to mix in bits of biscotti. I still had both left from a cake I made recently, so I didn’t even have to go to the store. Score !
This recipe calls for skinned, toasted hazelnuts, and I find the best way to get them to that state without losing your sanity is the baking soda method. I needed one cup for this recipe, so I simply brought 3 cups of water with 4 tbsps of baking soda to a boil, added the hazelnuts and allowed to boil for about 3 minutes. After that, drain, rinse with cold water and those skins will just slip right off. Toast them in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes and you’re ready to go.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 1/4 cups butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 cup of toasted hazelnuts, chopped & divided (3/4 and 1/4 cup)
- 1 cup biscotti pieces
- 1 pound bittersweet chocolate chips
Butter a cookie sheet. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Add both sugars, water, honey, allspice and salt and stir until sugar dissolves.
Increase heat to medium and cook for 18-20 minutes while scraping bottom of pan. Remove from heat once the candy reaches the hard crack stage. Stir in orange zest, 3/4 cups chopped hazelnuts and biscotti pieces. Pour mixture onto cookie sheet.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot toffee, let stand for about a minute, then use the back of a metal spoon to distribute melted chocolate over top of toffee. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts.
Allow to fully set and break into pieces.