Step-by-Step Guide to Making Cinnamon Almond Toffee.

Make toffee from scratch! Candy making, the old fashioned way, is simple as long as you have the right instructions, patience, tools, and ingredients. 

Cinnamon Almond Toffee Recipe - a step-by-step visual guide to making toffee on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I hope you brought your sweet tooth with you today. I’ve been waist deep in toffee all week and I’m thrilled to share some toffee with you. Including lessons, how-to’s, tricks, mistakes, and everything in between. It’s a toffee kind of November.

A simple blend of sugar and butter, toffee is my hard candy of choice. Well, unless we’re talking these–> am I 5 years old? I love those. Unlike hard-as-ice brittle, toffee softens when sucked or chewed. That’s the best part about it! And there are many ways you can flavor toffee. Cinnamon, vanilla, nuts, top with chocolate, or just make it au naturel.

In the kitchen this week, I made three types of toffee. About 189758934754 different times. My stove (and sanity) need a break. Everyone at my event today can taste test the pounds of toffee taking over my counter– there’s a ton. But let’s focus on the cinnamon almond version. It’s my favorite one.

Cinnamon Almond Toffee Recipe - a step-by-step visual guide to making toffee on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Along with the recipe, I’m sharing quite a few step-by-step photos. When it comes to candy making, step-by-step visuals are just as imperative as the recipe itself. There is NO room for error when making a candy like toffee. Old-fashioned, authentic toffee. I really want you to make this! I really want you to challenge yourself and become comfortable using a candy thermometer and cooking candy from scratch on the stove-top. Not just for obtaining the finished product, but for the experience. The pleasure of making something so timeless. Something you can pass down to future generations. And obviously, something that tastes SO UNBELIEVABLY GOOD from scratch.

Today’s post isn’t just a recipe. It’s a lesson.

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

Making toffee from scratch is not at all difficult if you (1) take your time, (2) practice, practice, practice (3) read the recipe in full before beginning, and (4) have everything ready to go. Because once stovetop candy hits certain temperatures, you have very little time to grab something from the pantry. There is nothing worse than discovering halfway through a recipe that you don’t have half the ingredients! So, save yourself from ruining a batch of this candy and have your ingredients ready.

A few special tools you will need to make my toffee:

Candy thermometer. There is no way you can make old-fashioned toffee with no sugar graininess, a hard yet soft texture, and a toffee bursting with the toasty caramelized flavors of properly cooked butter and sugar without this tool. I recommend a digital candy thermometer. The one I own is easy to hook onto my pot and very easy to read. No mistaking temperatures with this particular model. Don’t be scared of a candy thermometer! It’s literally just a thermometer telling you when your candy reaches certain cooking stages. Using a candy thermometer is so much easier and more accurate than using your eyes to detect doneness.

A heavy bottomed saucepan. Oh, the many batches of toffee I ruined from using a cheap saucepan. An ideal saucepan for making today’s candy is one that is deep and thick. Thin pans, which often have hot spots, do not withstand the heat needed for toffee to cook. I burned 1,000 batches of toffee before realizing this. Well, not really. But it sure as heck seemed like it. I have a few pans I use for making toffee: here, here, and here (copper is pricey but it’s awesome for candy making).

A silicone baking mat. This will make your candy making experience much easier. Why? Well, when you pour the toffee out onto a large baking sheet, it is so much easier to spread onto and remove from this slick silicone surface compared to a bare baking sheet, parchment, or aluminum foil. Not only this, I don’t bake cookies on any other surface! Always a silicone baking mat. I own 9 of them. I wish I was joking. I’m ridiculous.

Besides these three items, you’ll also need a wooden spoon, the ingredients, and patience.

Cinnamon Almond Toffee Recipe - a step-by-step visual guide to making toffee on sallysbakingaddiction.com

One bite into my cinnamon almond toffee and you’ll understand why there aren’t many ingredients required. The focus is on the pure flavors of butter and sugar– along with spicy cinnamon and nutty toasted almonds. That’s all. And hey! If you want to leave out the almonds and toffee, go right ahead. What I love most about this toffee recipe is that the finished candy has a nice crunchy snap, but is still easy to chew without breaking your teeth.

Ok, enough rambling from me. Here is the recipe. Below the recipe you’ll find step-by-step photos and my commentary for each step as well as some troubleshooting tips.

Cinnamon Almond Toffee

Candy making, the old fashioned way, is simple as long as you have the right instructions, patience, tools, and ingredients. Read through the recipe before you begin and use my photos below as a guide. You will love the toasted almond flavor paired with the spicy cinnamon in this sweet and salty toffee!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (170g; 6 ounces) quality whole almonds, such as Diamond of California Whole Almonds 1
  • 1 cup (230g; 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup (120ml; 4 ounces) warm water
  • 1 cup (199g, 7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C) degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spread the almonds onto the sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring them around twice during that time. Toasting the almonds brings so much flavor to the toffee. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and give them a rough chop-- a very rough chop; I like to keep a few of them whole. They will go into your toffee soon.
  2. Line a 12x17 inch jelly roll pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Melt the cubed butter over medium heat in a 3-quart heavy duty saucepan. Stir occasionally (about every 2 minutes) with a wooden spoon as it melts. Once melted, add the water, sugar, salt, and corn syrup. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves, then brush down the sides of the pan with a water-moistened pastry brush. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan. Do not let it touch the bottom of the pan.
  4. Once dissolved, stir occasionally as you bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, stop stirring. Rapid bubbles, a thicker consistency, as well as a slightly darker color forms around 235°F (113°C). At the 265°F (129°C, hard ball stage) point, stir in the toasted whole almonds. The mixture may separate when you add the nuts. If it does, temporarily remove the candy thermometer and stir vigorously until it all comes back together. Carefully reattach the thermometer and brush off any candy on the side of the pan with the pasty brush. Cook and stir the candy until it reaches 290°F (143°C, soft crack stage).
  5. Turn off the stove, remove pan from the heat, and stir in the cinnamon. Pour the toffee out onto the prepared jelly roll pan. Smooth into an even layer. The toffee should be thick and not spread all the way to the edges of the jelly roll pan. Allow the toffee to cool for 5 minutes,then slip the pan into the refrigerator to set for about twenty more minutes. Using a sharp knife, slice or break into pieces. As large or small as you want.
  6. Make ahead tip: Store toffee in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Toffee freezes well. Break it up as directed, place into an airtight container and freeze up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Salted or unsalted almonds - this is your choice. There is salt in the toffee itself and I actually found using salted almonds made my toffee a little too salty. And I love salty sweet!

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

 

First, begin with 1 cup (170g; 6 ounces) quality whole almonds. Unsalted or salted is your preference– there is salt going into the toffee so unless you love really really salty with your sweet, use unsalted. Diamond nuts are my top choice. Learned that from my mama. Toast the almonds at 300F for 15 minutes, stirring them around twice during that time.

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

You’ll be thankful you toasted them. Toasted almonds bring an unparalleled nutty flavor and aroma to the toffee that you just cannot match.

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

Coarsely chop the almonds and set them aside so you can get started on the toffee.

Melt 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g; 8 ounces) of cubed unsalted butter in a heavy bottom saucepan (my pans of choice are linked above in this post) over medium heat. When you cut the butter into smaller pieces it melts quicker, easier, and more evenly.

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

We all know what melted butter looks like. But the reason I took this next photo is to remind you to use a wooden spoon. Wood = high heat tolerance, strong, will not scratch your pan. Most importantly? It’s insulated. A wooden spoon guarantees you are not going to cause a sudden crystallization by sucking out a bunch of heat from your candy.

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

Pour in 1/2 cup (120ml; 4 ounces) warm water, 1 cup (199g; 7 ounces) granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon light corn syrup. Here is further information on each ingredient, for which I recommend no substitutions.

Candy making (chemistry!) is very precise.

Warm water – not cold, not cool. Warm to touch. Your melted butter is warm and so should the water. Again, any sudden changes in temperature spells disaster.

Granulated sugar – not brown sugar. I prefer granulated because it does not have added moisture like brown sugar does. Too much moisture and your toffee will be too soft. Though brown sugar is my ideal choice in most baked goods, I never make toffee with it.

Salt – duh! Toffee is supremely salty and sweet. It’s the best.

Light corn syrup – there is much debate over adding corn syrup to toffee, but I always use it. Corn syrup guarantees a smoother texture (no sugar crystals!) especially when cooked to a high temperature. Though other liquid sweeteners can sometimes be substituted for corn syrup, candy making is not one of those instances.

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

Stir until the sugar dissolves, then brush down the inside of the pan with a wet pastry brush to avoid a burning, smoky mess in your pan. Alternatively, you can lightly butter the inside edges of your pan with butter before beginning this recipe.

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

Things are heating up! By the way, sorry for my awkward lighting. I didn’t edit these photos because the color of the toffee is important to show. I was also making this toffee at 8am.

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

Stir the mixture lightly and occasionally. If you aren’t stirring enough, your butter with separate. Your toffee will be slippery, greasy, and unattractive. Give it a few stirs every 2 minutes.

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

You’ll begin to see bubbles around the edges around 155°F (68°C).

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

Remember, stir lightly and occasionally as the mixture comes to a boil.

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

Once it’s boiling rapidly, stop stirring. You’ll notice a thicker consistency and a slightly darker color around 235°F (113°C).

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

Gettin’ toasty.

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

The glorious color change around 250°F (121°C).

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee

At the 260°F (127°C) point, stir in the toasted almonds– and keep stirring! The mixture may separate when you add the nuts, but continue to stir and it will come back together.

Around the 265°F (129°C) mark, things are getting darker amber.

How To Make Cinnamon Almond Toffee
And after 265°F (129°C), things begin to move quickly. I couldn’t shoot many more photos of the process. This is why I need two of me! Anyway, like I said: after your candy hits 265°F (129°C), things move quickly and you need to stir constantly.

Stir, stir, stir.

Cook and stir the candy until it reaches 290°F (143°C). If cooked longer than that, your toffee will be incredibly hard and be closer to almond brittle than slightly thicker, slightly chewier almond toffee. I find 290°F (143°C) degrees to be the perfect spot: hard, but still crumbly and soft when you chew it.

Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon. Pour onto a silicone mat-lined (my preferred surface; read more detail above in this post) baking sheet. Look at all that cinnamon!

Sally's Baking Addiction Cinnamon Almond Toffee Recipe

Allow the toffee to cool for about twenty minutes, then slip the pan into the refrigerator to set for about twenty more minutes. Using a sharp knife, slice or break into pieces. As large or small as you want. Eat, gift, enjoy, savor, and congratulate yourself on making candy from scratch the real way. You freaking ROCK.

 

* TROUBLESHOOTING TOFFEE *

When butter separates out of toffee. Toffee recipes contain a large amount of butter and in the course of cooking the candy, it is not uncommon for the butter to separate and create a slick, oily layer on top of the cooking candy or the finished candy. The causes? Temperature shifts; if the candy is heated too hot too quickly. Slow and looooow heating is best. And by looooow, I mean medium heat. Another culprit is a thin saucepan. Thin saucepans do not conduct heat evenly and may have hot spots where portions of the candy can be overheated. Another culprit I’ve experienced is not stirring often enough. Stirring is so imperative, so make sure you are stirring as directed in the recipe. And finally, humidity can cause the butter separate, so if your kitchen is very warm or humid, it’s not the best time for toffee.

All is not lost! If your toffee does separate, you can sometimes fix it. Briefly remove the pan from the heat and stir vigorously to bring the candy back together. Unfortunately, if you notice the separation after the toffee has been poured out of the pan onto the sheet, it is too late. You may *try* dabbing any excess butter off with a moist paper towel. If you find the toffee is too hard (because of the lost butter), you can chop your toffee up and use the toffee bits in baking recipes like cookies.

When toffee is too soft and sticky. Soft and sticky toffee is a result of too much moisture in the candy, which can be caused by humidity in the air, undercooking the candy, or using too much corn syrup. Soft toffee cannot be hardened after the candy making process. Avoid cooking toffee in a high humidity environment and make sure you are following the recipe and proper temperature readings.

When toffee is too hard and brittle. It’s been cooked too long. If you find the toffee is too hard, you can chop your toffee up and use the toffee bits in baking recipes like cookies.

When toffee is gritty and sugar crystals can be tasted. This is why corn syrup– no substitutions– is used. Also, make sure you are stirring as directed in the recipe. And as you stir, make sure you aren’t scraping the sides of the pan. If there is crystallized sugar on the side of the pan (if you did not brush with a wet pastry brush or butter as directed in the recipe), you will bring this crystalized sugar back into the boiling mix which can turn your entire batch into a grainy, coarse mess.

Cinnamon Almond Toffee Recipe - a step-by-step visual guide to making toffee on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cinnamon Almond Toffee Recipe - a step-by-step visual guide to making toffee on sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

Toffee on, candy lovers! Show me your homemade toffee pictures on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or email. If you’re into hashtags, use #sallysbakingaddiction.

I’m working with the well respected Diamond of California to bring you this recipe because I love their nuts and products!

 

83 comments

  1. Oh, this will be a beautiful addition to my holiday treat bags! I just need a new pan! Good excuse to invest in one….! Thanks for the detailed pictures, I know it will help!!!

  2. Sally, since it looks like you’re a Williams Sonoma lover like me, what kind of rolling pin do you have? I need a new one. W&S has a Maple wood one that looks good.. any recommendations? I’m going there for a candy thermometer and silicone baking mat!!

  3. I would love to make this for gifts this year. How long do you think will it keep? I was thinking of putting it in some clear cellophane bags with festive ribbon. Any suggestions? Thanks!!

    • Hi Callie! Store toffee in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Toffee freezes well. Break it up as directed, place into an airtight container and freeze up to 3 months.

      • I froze my batch (which came out beautiful and tasted wonderful). Unfortunately the toffee is no longer beautiful amber color. It turned ugly tan when exposed to the cold! It still tastes wonderful. I’m going to chop it up and used in browned butter chocolate chip cookies this week.

  4. I have just made a load of toffee apples for Hallowe’en so am in the caramel/toffee making vibe – this looks too good to be true so I’m going to have to try this next!

  5. Talk about addictive! I can’t wait to try this cinnamon almond flavor — it sounds heavenly!

  6. I’ve never made toffee and your step by step photos Sally is so helpful. Definitely going to try this recipe. I love almonds so this is right up my street

  7. So you just line your baking sheets with the silicone baking mats, and the hardened toffee won’t stick? I’ve always used parchment paper. Thanks.

  8. I’ve never made toffee, but I use Silpat mats for my sugar cookies. Pardon the question, but when the hot mixture is poured out, does it not seep underneath the edges of the mat? I can’t wait to try this! Thanks in advance!

    • hi joni! the toffee is quite thick and there is not enough of it to spread out that close to the edges, provided you have a large silicone baking mat– one that fits a half sheet pan, preferably.

  9. Hi! 🙂

    Would you recommend any other nut other than almonds? Walnuts maybe? Or something other than nuts?
    Have you had it without nuts?

    • Yep, it’s fantastic even without the nuts. Use your favorite if you’d like to switch to a different nut.

      • Made it!!! Super yummy!

        Question though, its a bit chewy. Any suggestions for that?
        (I made the toffee with no nuts and took the cinnamon out)

      • How about boiling until the temperature reaches 296 instead. That will yield a harder toffee.

      • Ah! Okay I will try that next time around.
        The texture is awesome and all just after eating it for a bit it gets chewy. Unless if thats just normal.

        And I need to ask, where can I find a digital thermometer like you have?

  10. Oh my gosh Sally, you completely outdid yourself. Your true passion for baking, sweets, and blogging really shines through in the post. SO many photos and detailed instructions!! Although I have to say, my favorite part of the entire post was the chemistry comment. That made my heart smile! (My past life shining through…) This toffee looks absolutely divine, and I really wish I could’ve been at your book signing to taste some! 🙂

  11. Good thing I decided to practice this recipe first. I guess my butter separated on me. As soon as I turned off the heat, added the cinnamon, and stopped stirring, all the liquid rose to the top. So i poured it on the silpat and I’m hoping for a miracle!! It’s cooling in the fridge now. I’ll try a lower temp next time. Also, this was my first time using my candy thermometer.. Now I’m not sure if it was on the candy or oil setting.. not sure if that would have made a difference. This was my first attempt at any candy so I shouldn’t be too disappointed. But I was in the mood for a treat tonight!

    • Just thought I should update- it still tasted pretty darn good!! Not super pretty around the edges since it was just the separated butter. Yummy.

  12. hi sally, thanks for posting this great looking recipe and all the pictures! one question…we buy some toffee that is a little lighter in color and has a little crumble to it, no hard. what is the consistency of this? if hard do you know how to tweak it to make it a little softer/having a little crumb to it? thanks a bunch! amy

  13. Please share the kind, brand, etc. of your candy thermometer. Thanks!

  14. Would it be okay if I hold a regular food thermometer in the pan, if I’m careful not to touch the bottom? 
    Thanks!

  15. This is such an easy to follow recipe – every detail is provided which helps no end when you’re a toffee novice.  The verdict on my first attempt was an all round ‘thumbs up’ quickly followed by a request for a repeat batch (or three).  I so enjoyed making this that I’ve upgraded my thermometer already!!    Thank you. 

  16. I have never made any sort of candy in my life and thanks to your perfect, detailed directions my toffee is cooling on the counter and looks great. I’ll use some of it to make your salted toffee cookies!

    You have never let me down yet with a great recipe and this is no exception! Thanks so much!

  17. You are the best. Your directions with pictures help those of us who have problems in the kitchen. Four stars for you!

  18. Hi Sally,

    I’ve made wonderful yummy goodies using your recipes…so thank you so much! Have you heard of ‘Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle – Salted Caramel Flavour’? They are really delicious…but a little pricey. I’m so sure you would be able to figure out the recipe. They are really thin ‘cracker-like’ brownie pieces, that taste very natural (no artificial taste). And, they are very addictive! I would love to have ‘Sally’s’ take on them!

    • I haven’t! But I’ve seen brownie brittle recipes online– never tasted it though. And I’ve never given it a shot!

  19. I just made this and I wanted to point a few discrepancies in the recipes in case you wanted to fix them or clarify! The printable portion said add the almonds at 165F and cool at room temp for 5 mins then 20 in the fridge. The pictured instructions said add the almonds at 160F and cool at room temp for 20 min and 20 in the fridge. I’m not sure if either of those is a really important step that will make or break it, but I was frantically scrolling back in forth trying to decide what to do! The toffee came out PERFECT so whatever I chose worked! Thank you so so much for sharing your recipes. I am a huge fan and only go to you for my holiday treats! Merry Christmas!!

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