Coffee Toffee

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Guest edited, prepared & photographed by Bonnie Berry

I love everything that involves coffee. I love the taste and the smell of it and even the idea of it. So when I saw this recipe for coffee toffee, I made it immediately. Of course I made it under the guise that it was for my parents and my grandmother for a holiday gift. And I did indeed send them some, but that doesn't mean I did not devour quite a bit first myself. I have made it twice now. One time I used semi sweet chocolate chips and once I used milk chocolate. Personally I preferred the milk chocolate, but that is because in general I prefer milk chocolate. So use whatever chocolate you like, because after all chocolate is yummy in any form. And this is super easy to make and takes very little time. I have included some tips for tasting and skinning the hazelnuts as well. It seems like a monumental task, but it really is not, and this is coming form the laziest cook on the planet. Enjoy! BONNIE

COFFEE TOFFEE Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

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BONNIE'S SAGE ADVICE I like to make the hazelnuts first thing in my little toaster oven at 350 for 10 minutes. Roll them around the tray halfway through the cooking time so that they get evenly browned. Take them out and let them cool. Once they are cool you can rub them in between your fingers and the skins will slide off easily. A few will not, but don't fret about those and include them anyway.

INGREDIENTS 2 sticks of butter (1 cup / 16 oz) 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons molasses (can swap corn syrup or honey) 1/4 teaspoon salt  (I love Maldon salt for everything) 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (I found this hard to find and I had to buy 6 jars at Amazon) 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 (see my advice above)

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Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat and set aside.

In medium heavy saucepan with a candy thermometer attached, melt butter, both sugars, molasses, salt and espresso together. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a whisk until the temperature approaches 250 F, at which point you should stir constantly until it reaches 300 F.

Pour immediately into the prepared baking sheet and spread it evenly. An offset spatula is especially helpful here. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the toffee and 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 set the tray on a cooling rack until the toffee is set.

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Break into pieces and store in an airtight container. If your kitchen runs warm like mine does in the Texas summer, you might prefer to keep it in the fridge so the chocolate doesn’t get soft.