The Willamette Valley produces a lot of hazelnuts, so this recipe is truly representative of our area. I always make plenty of this delicious toffee to serve at Christmas and give as gifts.
- 1-3/4 cups finely chopped hazelnuts
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- Place hazelnuts in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 300° for 15 minutes or until toasted; set aside.
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine sugar, water and corn syrup; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and boil for 2 minutes. Stir in butter; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 300° (hard-crack stage) on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat; quickly stir in salt, baking soda, orange extract and 1-1/4 cups toasted hazelnuts.
- Pour into a greased baking sheet and spread to 1/4-in. thickness. Let stand at room temperature until cool, about 1 hour.
- In a microwave, melt chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Spread over toffee. Sprinkle with the remaining hazelnuts. Let stand for 1 hour. Break into bite-size pieces. Yield: 2 pounds.
Originally published as Hazelnut Toffee in Country December/January 1998, p49
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