Mom’s Toffee Butter Crunch

Growing up, my sisters and I would find a large package outside our door each December 6th morning.  This present was preceded by a couple of knocks, but when the door was opened, there was nobody in sight.  Just the package.

But it really wasn’t just any ol’ package.  It was filled with all of our favorite candies and nuts.  The really good stuff!

Do you celebrate Saint Nicholas Day?

This tradition comes from my dad’s side of the family, and is one that he wanted to see survive.  So each December 6th, he would take a silent leave of absence from our breakfast table.  Before my sisters and I realized he was even gone, he was able to quietly exit the kitchen, deposit that really good stuff outside the door, knock a couple of times, and return to his waiting bowl of cereal with bananas.

He was so sneaky.  And I’m sure his insides were chuckling at our bewildered expense.

Needless to say, Cheryl, Jessica, and I loved this morning.  It was magical and mysterious.  And we got to eat candy for breakfast!

Mom and Dad still carry on the Saint Nicholas tradition to this very day, although it’s a little different scene with their girls all grown up and moved away.  They now package up goodies and mail them to each of our families, making sure we have them by December 6th.

My girls are starting to see the annual benefits of this custom, and are eating it up just as heartily as I did way back then.  I think this tradition is a keeper.

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is pretty much a homemade candy bar, very similar in taste to Skor or Heath.  It has a buttery toffee base studded with nuts, and a thick drizzle of chocolate on top.  Mom used to make this during the holidays when I was a kid.  And it’s really good stuff!

Mom’s Toffee Butter Crunch

Yield: 1-1/2 lbs. Toffee Butter Crunch


  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped almonds or pecans
  • 1 c. butter, plus additional for buttering sauce pan
  • 1 c.  sugar
  • 1 T. light corn syrup
  • 3 T. water
  • 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp.  shortening
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped almonds or pecans, optional (I prefer it without these nuts)


Line a 9″ x 13″  pan with foil, extending over the edges.  Sprinkle the coarsely chopped nuts in pan.

Butter sides of heavy 2 quart sauce pan.  Melt 1 cup of butter in the pan over medium heat.  Add sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Stir until boiling.  Clip candy thermometer to pan.  Stir until candy thermometer reaches 290 degrees, about 15 minutes.  Watch carefully, as the temperature goes up quickly at the end.

Remove sauce pan from heat.  Pour toffee into foil lined pan.  Let stand 6 to 7 minutes.

In small pan, melt  chocolate chips with shortening over medium low heat, stirring to combine.  Drizzle over toffee in pan.   Sprinkle with finely chopped nuts (optional).  Chill until firm.  Lift candy out of pan and break  into pieces.  Store tightly covered.  Keeps well in the freezer.

Mom’s recipe box


32 Responses to “Mom’s Toffee Butter Crunch”

  1. #
    Double Dipped Life — December 6, 2010 at 9:42 am

    This looks fantastic! Dec. 6th is special in our house because it’s my oldest kids birthday! I’ll have to make some of these yummy toffee!

    • farmgirl replied on December 6th, 2010 at 10:18 pm

      Well…Happy Birthday to your kid!!! :)

  2. #
    Stephanie Meyer (Fresh Tart) — December 6, 2010 at 10:13 am

    What a lovely, fun tradition! I want Christmas at YOUR house! The toffee looks killicious, yikes and yum.

    • farmgirl replied on December 6th, 2010 at 10:20 pm

      Yes, very fun stuff, Stephanie! Lots of great memories.

  3. #
    avril — December 6, 2010 at 11:27 am

    I just LOVE this tradition stemming from your Father’s side of the family!!!! – along with how it has been continued on throught out the years….heart warming!

    I am soooooooo going to make this lovely recipe of your mom’s! Not only is it really yummy looking but the meaning and love that go behind it means so much.

    Happy Monday!
    ~avril :-)

    • farmgirl replied on December 6th, 2010 at 10:22 pm

      Hi Avril – great to hear from you again! Have fun trying not to eat all that toffee…

  4. #
    Paula — December 6, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    I love that tradition of your family’s! This treat looks too good not to try.

    • farmgirl replied on December 6th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

      You got that right, Paula!

  5. #
    cheryl — December 7, 2010 at 4:31 am

    Vivid memories of cold linoleum were running through my head as I read this. Thanks for the memories! xo

    • farmgirl replied on December 7th, 2010 at 9:38 am

      Now my toes are cold! Great memory of fetching those goodies, Cheryl!

  6. #
    lynne — December 7, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    yum! I can’t wait to try these! They look delicious :)

    • farmgirl replied on December 7th, 2010 at 10:55 pm

      Thanks Lynne! (Hey peoples! This food blogger is just 15 years old – give her a hand!!)

  7. #
    Ria Mathew — December 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Ooh, that is sinful!

  8. #
    Nancy — December 11, 2010 at 10:27 am

    This is delicious! I’ve made one pan and have used it on 3 different occasions plus a little nibbling of my own, so that batch is now gone. I’ll be making another one today while I’m enjoying being “snowed in”! Thanks for sharing!

    • farmgirl replied on December 11th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

      That’s WONDERFUL to hear, Nancy! Thanks for letting me know – happy snow day!!

  9. #
    Wendy — December 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I don’t know what I did wrong but mine just didn’t turn out. I am going to try again and see if I get the same results it is a shame cause yours looks so amazing!

    • farmgirl replied on December 27th, 2010 at 8:17 am

      So sorry to hear that, Wendy. I have never had any issues with this recipe, and Mom has been making it for as long as I can remember, with no problems. Wishing you better toffee on your next try!!

  10. #
    Debbie — December 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Wow. This candy looks so good. Heath Bar is my husband’s favorite candy. I can’t wait to surprise him with this. Thanks for the receipe and the story about your family. Happy Holidays!

    • farmgirl replied on December 10th, 2011 at 7:25 am

      Hi Debbie – I hope your husband (and you!) like this!!

  11. #
    Amanda — December 6, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Gorgeous Brenda! I have not heard of St Nichols Day… but I would love any day that I can open my door to a box of candy! :)

    • farmgirl replied on December 10th, 2011 at 7:25 am

      I agree…not a bad day to open that knock on the door! ;)

  12. #
    Debbie — December 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Made the toffee a couple of nights ago. Super easy -super good. I’m making more to give out to family & friends for Christmas. They are a big hit with my husband!

    • farmgirl replied on December 11th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to come back to comment, Debbie. I’m so glad everyone liked this! :)

  13. #
    Amanda — December 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

    So sweet! Great recipe too!

    • Brenda replied on December 6th, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks, Amanda. :)

  14. #
    cheryl — December 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Oh My how I miss this and I didn’t even know it until I read this post!!!! Please just package up a bit of everything that you make from now until Christmas and wrap it up for me. :o) Love you!

  15. #
    Suzanne C — December 6, 2014 at 11:00 am

    We left our shoes on the hearth of the fireplace for St. Nick’s. I didn’t know until a few years ago that my mom knew nothing about St. Nick’s Day (she was from a different art of WI than my dad) and had to call a a neighbor to explain it because I came home from school all excited that St. Nick was coming. I am guessing that was about Kindergarten but she continued the tradition even when I went off to college…it is a memory I love!

    • Brenda replied on December 13th, 2014 at 8:36 am

      I love this, Suzanne! :)


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