If you’re unfamiliar with English toffee, think of a Heath bar, which has an English toffee core. So, how many generations have enjoyed the sweet confection known as English toffee? Every generation since the early 19th century.
There are subtle and not-so-subtle differences between English toffee and American toffee. For example, Americans often use a combination of white and brown sugars. The British use only brown sugar. Both varieties tend to drizzle or coat the toffee with chocolate, but the American versions often sprinkle the top with chopped nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, or Brazil nuts. Some claim that English toffee may be harder than American toffee. Others claim the reverse.
Hard or chewy, this candy is made by caramelizing sugar. It all starts with 1 cup each of true butter & sugar (brown or white or combo), ¼ c water, and ½ tsp salt. If you are a candy maker, you know how to get it to the hard-crack (300°F) stage. If not, you do not need to start with English toffee. Simply buy a piece… or a box. If you’re lucky you can find a bakery or candy shop that still makes it fresh.