Peanut-Chocolate Toffee Sundaes + A Giveaway!

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So as you might have heard, I have a book coming out in—deep breaths—one week. I’m not quite sure how that happened! It seems like only yesterday I was squeezing into an apron and haulin’ my 30-week pregnant self and a whole trunkful of handmade candy to our photoshoots…and now those very same photos grace the pages of a book! It’s wild. [Spoiler alert: I’m giving away copies of the book below! Read on…]

Photo Jan 12, 7 44 32 AMReady to rumble. Black is slimming, right?

To celebrate The Sweet Book of Candy Making, I took my own advice and made some candy. Specifically, Spicy Peanut Butter Toffee. It’s on page 74 for you rock stars who have pre-ordered and already received your copy! Love you, mean it.

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This isn’t your typical toffee made with butter and sugar. The fat in the recipe comes from peanut butter, and instead of toffee’s usual hard, crunchy texture it has a light, aerated, crispy texture. In the book I describe it as “similar to the filling of a popular peanut butter candy bar,” but we all know that’s just highfalutin please-don’t-sue-me talk. Just between you and me and the rest of the internet, the crispy peanut filling reminds me of a Butterfingers bar, with better ingredients and without the scary orange color.

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I added a little chipotle chili powder to the recipe. I love a hint of spice in my sweets, and the smokiness of the chipotle is wonderful paired with the richness of peanut butter and dark chocolate. If you’re sensitive to spice, you can always omit it or try adding a sweet spice, like cinnamon, instead.

The toffee recipe is printed down below, but first I wanted to share a few other ways you might enjoy this toffee—you know, if you get tired of just eating it by the fistful.

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Because of the toffee’s light and crispy texture, it crumbles fairly easily, and those crumbled toffee pieces make most excellent mix-ins for chocolate clusters.  Coarsely chop the toffee, stir it into a bowl of melted chocolate, then drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto waxed paper. Voila! You’ve now made two candies for the price of one. Well done you.

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I’m even more excited about this next idea. Crumbled Spicy Peanut Butter Toffee is a natural ice cream topper, but why stop there? Pair it with hot fudge sauce, peanut butter sauce, and peanut butter ice cream for a ridiculous—and ridiculously good—Peanut-Chocolate Toffee Sundae.

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Don’t you want to dive in? I’m afraid we ate a rather unhealthy amount of this dessert during the course of the photoshoot this afternoon. It’s just too easy! Between the rich ice cream, the crunchy toffee bits, and the warm and gooey sauces, these are seriously dangerous.

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I know I’m supposed to be talking up the toffee, but can I take a moment to mention how proud I am of the peanut butter sauce recipe? It turns out making peanut butter sauce is hard! I made five batches in an attempt to get it right. In the course of my experimenting I did ungodly things to peanut butter, things that no innocent eyes should ever have to see. (Pro tip—do not microwave it with condensed milk.) I finally found a recipe I love, that’s simple to make and that produces a smooth sauce that glides over ice cream and has a lovely sweet-salty balance. Pure bliss.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about you.

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Update 9/3: The giveaway is now closed! Here are your winners, courtesy of Random.org:

Comment # 6:

Good news, Peggy, there is a whole chapter devoted to fruit and nut candies in the book–and of course, many of them involve chocolate.

Comment # 63:

And what do you know, there’s a recipe for chocolate-covered cherries in the book as well! It must be fate.

Thank you all for the GREAT comments. I kept reading them and wanting to respond (<–candy nerd) but didn’t for fear of messing up the comment numbering and creating a headache for myself come giveaway time. But rest assured that I looooved reading about everyone’s favorite candies, and I’ll be doing more book giveaways in the future!

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Thank you all for the kind words, support, and great comments over the years. I really wish I could give you all a book and a big peanut-chocolate toffee sundae! I hope you’ll settle for these recipes, for now…

Spicy Peanut Butter Toffee
yield: 1 lb 10 oz
Reprinted with permission from
The Sweet Book of Candy Making by Elizabeth LaBau

Print This Recipe!

2 2/3 ounces or 1/3 cup water
3 2/3 ounces or 1/3 cup light corn syrup
7 ounces or 1 cup granulated sugar
9 3/4 ounces or 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
4 3/4 ounces or 1 cup honey-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
6 ounces melted, tempered chocolate (can substitute chocolate candy coating if you don’t want to temper)

Line a rimmed baking sheet with a nonstick silicone mat or aluminum foil sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then wipe down the sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Bring the mixture to a boil, and insert a candy thermometer.

Cook the candy, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 305° Fahrenheit (152°C) on the thermometer. Watch carefully–do not overcook! Once at the right temperature, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter, baking soda, and chile powder. The baking soda will cause the mixture to bubble up and become very foamy. Once it bubbles up, add the chopped peanuts and stir them in as well.

Scrap the toffee onto the prepared baking sheet and smooth it into a thin, even layer. Let the toffee set at room temperature, for about 45 minutes. Once set, spread the top of the toffee with the tempered milk chocolate and allow the chocolate to set. Break or chop the toffee into small pieces to serve it.

Wrap Spicy Peanut Butter Toffee in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Peanut Butter Dessert Sauce
yield: 1.25 cups

Print this Recipe!

6 fl oz heavy cream
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) peanut butter chips
1/3 cup (3.25 oz) peanut butter, not “natural” variety
3 tbsp (1.5 oz) light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Combine all ingredients together in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Heat, whisking frequently, until the peanut butter chips melt and all of the ingredients come together in a smooth sauce. It will be very thin at first.

As the sauce cools to room temperature, it will thicken up. If it gets too thick, simply return it to the heat and whisk until it loosens up. To store, pour it into a bowl or airtight container and press a layer of plastic wrap on top. Keep the peanut butter sauce in the refrigerator.

To reheat after chilling, gently microwave it in 20-second increments until warm and flowing.

[Bonus recipe: Hot Fudge Sauce, featured last month. Mm mm good.]

 

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74 Responses to Peanut-Chocolate Toffee Sundaes + A Giveaway!
  1. Rémi says:

    Hi Elizabeth!
    My favourite candy is “caramels au beurre salé”, these are French toffees made with sugar of course, but also salted butter and cream. They come from Normandy, in France, where I leave !
    Congratulations for your book and your website!

  2. Jane says:

    Since requests for your cookbook for christmas are already pouring into my inbox I really “need” to win! Looooove!

  3. Spencer says:

    Looks awesome! I reckon I could eat about 100 of those delicious little pieces.

  4. Katrina says:

    Really not sure if I could pick a favorite candy. Really. ;) When I just want a bite or two of something sweet, one of my favorites (well, it’s always something chocolate), but right now is Lindt 70% Excellence chocolate bar. I do love certain candy that is “popable”–you know, small size candies you can just pop in your mouth and before you know it, you’ve eaten a whole bunch–like M&M’s and such. ;)

  5. Peggy says:

    I have so many favorites so I’ll have to say my most favorite is anything chocolate with nuts.

  6. katie h says:

    I make toffee for Christmas every year and it is, hands down, my favorite candy.

  7. Susan says:

    Anything with chocolate,but I also love all the “old-fashioned” candies made just for Christmas!

  8. Denise m says:

    these recipes look amazing! I drooled on my keyboard.

    My fave candy is anything with mint like Peppermint Patties and Peppermint Bark

  9. Carolyn Barnett says:

    I would love homemade peanut butter fudge.Our mom used to make it and she let us lick the spoon.

  10. Carol says:

    Any caramel will do but add salt or spice and I love it even more.

  11. RUTH says:

    I love the cracker toffee candy, it is easy to make and everyone loves it and asks for it at family/friend gatherings.

  12. Patricia Crowley says:

    My favorite candy would probably be homemade buckeyes or chocolate covered coconut!

  13. emily says:

    As a peanut butter superfan, my favorite candy is a classic peanut butter cup!

  14. Ember Atkinson says:

    I’m excited to learn how to make chocolate covered cherries! My fav.

  15. Veroniuqe says:

    I love making candying more than eating it. Every year for the past 15 years, my father who is now 80 and I spend three weekends around Thanksgiving making 30 to 40 pounds of chocolate wrapped fondant in many flavors to give as Christmas presents. We roast nuts and coconut, we make our own cream based fondant in orange, mocha, chocolate, lemon, peppermint and hazelnut just to name a few. We make shaggy dogs and soft caramel. We temper dark and milk chocolate. It’s a lot of fun to have that time with my father. We’ve already made up our list of types and flavors for this year including cherries in kirsch wrapped in fondant covered in dark chocolate. V.-

  16. Shirley Ontiveros says:

    It’s a tie…I love homemade toffee, but I just can’t imagine the world without Pear Jelly Bellys. Lol.

  17. Emily says:

    My mom’s chocolate fudge recipe. I grew up with it and when I started making it on my own, I realized it was the perfect palette to play with flavor combinations. Now I make them with homemade marshmallows, which makes them even more delish. My favorite flavor combo is with a little mint extract and crushed candy canes on top for Christmastime.

  18. *YOUR* chocolate coated ‘Buttery Nut Toffee‘ recipe is my absolute favorite! I try not to make it too often because it’s one of the few things that I literally can NOT stop eating once I’ve had a taste.

    ( http://candy.about.com/od/toffeerecipes/r/butterytoffee.htm )

    Otherwise dark chocolate with nuts, raspberries or orange will do :)

  19. Sara! says:

    Almond Roca! Turns out my mom knew the family of the dude who invented that stuff. It’ll ruin your teeth though :(

  20. Geneve says:

    I love homemade salted caramel truffles… but can be persuaded (who am I kidding) to buy them pretty much whenever I see them.

  21. susan says:

    I love “sponge candy”. It’s a Western New York specialty–Watson’s is the best–and CANNOT be made on a humid day. Made it for the first time last winter & everyone had fun watching the “science of candy-making” after we added baking soda to the mix!

  22. Sara says:

    Man, this is a toughie! I sure do love me some homemade almond toffee.

  23. Jenn Wu says:

    kinder happy hippo’s are my favorite candy!! creamy nutella goodness inside a delicate wafer shell in the shape of a…happy hippo!! :)

  24. Jill says:

    It’s not possible to declare one favorite, but one of my many favorites are Lindt truffles, dark or extra-dark. But now you’ve got me thinking about Butterfinger, which is pretty awesome too!

  25. Nikki says:

    vanilla caramels are definitely my favorite!

  26. Alex says:

    It’s not very classy but my favorite candy is Sour Skittles. I must say that I liked them a lot more when they used to have more fun flavors (watermelon, green apples) than the typical 5 flavors.

  27. Esmeralda says:

    Hello. I love homemade caramel in every way, spicy chocolate, white chocolate with almonds, mints,

  28. Jay says:

    One of my favorites happens to be homemade cherry cordials. Store bought cherry cordials are often chalky, bland and disgusting. However, a homemade cherry cordial, you grab by the stem and slip it into your mouth, the thin shell of chocolate breaks under the pressure and out pours sweet liquid, immediately causing a smile to form and then a sweet fruity maraschino cherry mixed with the chocolate, it’s quite unique in the candy world.

  29. Tam lindquist says:

    I like homemade marshmallows. And caramel. Oh and toffee. And brittle. Need I go on? Best of luck on the new book!

  30. Barb says:

    vanilla caramels

  31. Donna says:

    Love your blog! I love fudge! Milk chocolate with raspberry extract. soooooo good.

  32. Sarah says:

    Oh boy – this sundae looks delicious! I can’t wait until I’m off my pre-wedding diet and can indulge! My favorite candy is definitely chewy caramels – yummmmmy!

  33. Sarah says:

    Licorice! But the real salty European kind.. My mouth waters just thinking about it!

  34. i am in love with buckeye candy! mmm, so simple to make and so delicious (im in love with the chocolate/peanut butter combo but my sis not so much even though her daughter’s name is spet like a famous peanut butter cup :D)

  35. Kate says:

    My favorite candies are the wintergreen Canadian mints. Sure, they’re cheap and they aren’t the highest quality candy, but they are attached a bunch of childhood memories!

  36. Candice says:

    Caramel anything! I am a caramel freak! It must run in the family because my mom and older sister are the same. :)

  37. Lynna says:

    I love candy so much, how can I decide what my favorite candy bar is?! Twix? Snickers? Milky way? Butterfingers? One of those!

  38. I can’t pass by Twix and Mounds without grabbing some :) My all time faves! Congrats on the book! LOVE the cover!

  39. abigail says:

    reeses peanut butter cups

  40. Sami says:

    That sundae looks amazing! :)
    My favorite candy has to be plain, semi-sweet chocolate. I eat chocolate chips by the handful…

  41. Kim Mtrzz says:

    Sea salt caramels by far! Your candies look so good! Can’t wait to get my hands on your cookbook :)

  42. candace says:

    i’m still a bit of a beginner candy-maker so the majority of my candies are store bought but i LOVE lindt truffles and it would save me tons of money if i could learn to make something similar at home :)

  43. Nicole Pelletier says:

    I love salt water taffy. And I also love the idea of making my own candy!

  44. Rachel K says:

    I love anything with dark chocolate and peanuts. :)

  45. Kat says:

    Hej, Hej!
    Up until yesterday I would have told you hands-down, no contest that my favourite candy was a Snickers bar… but today I have experienced the amazing-ness that is the Swedish Daim bar!!! … there goes any semblance of a waist I had… :P
    Much love from NZ and Sweden!
    Kat

  46. Pam C says:

    Butter crunch toffee (tastes like Almond Roca) is my favorite homemade candy and my favorite store bought candy is 3Muskateers.

  47. Elizabeth says:

    Baci (Italian “kisses”) are my favourite – hazelnuts and dark chocolate….delicious! The love note that comes with each candy is just a bonus.

  48. Ally says:

    I love foam candy (think aerated toffee) and I love Jolly Ranchers. This, however, is going on my “to try” list and might make it to my favorites!

  49. Lisa says:

    Your recipes look mouthwatering. My favorite candy might be licorice or marshmallows, if they count. Normally I would say rich chocolate, but that’s become it’s own food group in my house, not candy.
    Thanks!

  50. karen says:

    Dark chocolate covered almonds!
    Congrats on your book and your baby!
    karenreichmann@hotmail.com

  51. Rachel says:

    Definitely caramel! Though I usually have to go through multiple batches to get a good one…

  52. Thanks for offering to share your book! My favorite candy is Mom’s divinity or Daddy’s peanut butter fudge, both of which I will never have again…

  53. Louis says:

    My favorite is homemade chocolate caramel peanut clusters.

  54. Erin Hurt says:

    I love salt water taffy. It’s like a delicious, chewy piece of nostalgia wrapped in wax paper.

  55. Sarah O. says:

    My favorite candy is probably chocolate-covered pretzels.

  56. Carrie M. says:

    I love Godiva Sea Salted Caramel chocolate bars! Crunchy bits of caramel in smooth chocolate. MMMM. :)

  57. Andrea says:

    I like Toblerone :)

  58. Claire says:

    I like sour gummy worms!

  59. Amanda says:

    See’s peanut brittle!

  60. Pixie says:

    I love Mounds, chilled in the refrigerator to make it a little chewy. Dark chocolate and coconut–yum! Or any of the Godiva truffles with dark chocolate. The lava cake one has an awesome center. The theme? Anything with dark chocolate is good enough for me.

  61. Gloria says:

    Only one candy?!?! Argh! Too hard! But if I had to choose, perhaps the chocolate-covered cherry is my favorite.

    Thank you!!!

  62. Amanda says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming book release!

    I like Hi-Chew candies in grape and green apple, but they’re not very easy to find since I moved.

  63. Claudia says:

    I love any sort of chocolate based candy, but my favorite would probably be something with chocolate and coconut (such as a bounty bar).

  64. Shannon C says:

    Salted caramel. ahhh :)

  65. Caley says:

    My favorite candy is anything white chocolate, but I’m also a sucker for Clark bars!

  66. Barbara says:

    My favorite candy is a Victoria from Bluebird Chocolates in Logan Utah. Yum

  67. Julia says:

    I don’t know if I have a favorite. I’m such a candy addict that picking one is too hard. My latest obsession though is the Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar with coconut and cashews. It is heavenly but I can only get it when I go to Canada. So sad.

  68. Natalie says:

    OMG, I can’t believe you made a book about candy and I found your website through a recipe for no bake bread pudding!

    My favorite candy is chocolate pepermint. Sticks dipped in it, pepermint patties etc. etc…

  69. Gena says:

    I only really eat homemade candy now that I’ve stopped eating most food produced by major corporations.

    Buuuut, as a child, my favorite candy was Kit Kat Bars!

  70. Stephanie says:

    I love peanut brittle! This toffee sundae looks amazing!! I also used to love Caramellos…do they still make those?

  71. Liz J says:

    oooo, I love a good toffee.. or brittle!

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