Buttercrunch Toffee (Homemade Heath Bar)
With buttery toffee, chocolate, and nuts, this Buttercrunch Toffee tastes just like a homemade Heath candy bar! Homemade toffee makes a great sweet, salty, and crunchy treat throughout the holidays and is perfect for gift-giving too!
An Easy Homemade Toffee Recipe
This Buttercrunch Toffee recipe is a longtime family favorite. I’ve been making this since I was a little girl, with Mom and my sisters in the kitchen. After the three of us girls were out living on our own, Mom would even mail this delightful treat to us for Saint Nicholas Day each year!
This toffee recipe is pretty much a homemade Heath candy bar. With a buttery toffee base, plus a layer of chocolate and salty nuts, the taste is almost identical…except I like to embellish the tops with sea salt flakes, SO GOOD!
If you’re a fan of Heath bars, you’re going to LOVE this recipe!!
Looking for more Christmas candy ideas? Try my simple Peppermint Bark recipe!
If you’ve never made toffee or other candy before, don’t worry. You’ll need a candy thermometer, and then just follow the easy instructions.
Whether you turn this into an annual tradition like my family or simply whip up a batch to enjoy this year, I think you’re going to fall in love with this sweet and salty caramel toffee treat!
What is Toffee?
Toffee is basically butter and sugar that is gradually cooked to the hard-crack sugar stage. When the sweet caramelized liquid is poured into a rimmed sheet pan, it cools and solidifies to give you that signature toffee texture.
While its flavor and color are much like chewy, gooey caramel, toffee’s texture is crunchy and crackly, and breaks into jagged pieces. This harder texture results from cooking the butter and sugar to a higher temperature than caramel.
And if the toffee is dipped in chocolate and covered with crushed nuts, it’s called buttercrunch, which is what I grew up on. Basically a Heath candy bar. :)
What You’ll Need
Six ingredients is all you will need for this perfectly salty, chocolatey buttercrunch!
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Light corn syrup – Only 1.5 tablespoons is used in this recipe.
- Semisweet chocolate chips – Use a quality brand. I prefer Ghirardelli mini chocolate chips for this recipe.
- Roasted nuts – I prefer chopped roasted pecans, but almonds are also good.
- Sea salt – I highly recommend Maldon sea salt flakes!
How to Make Toffee Buttercrunch
If you’ve ever wanted to make a homemade heath bar, this is your chance – and it’s easier than you may think!
- Make the toffee mixture. Melt the butter over medium heat. Then whisk in water, sugar, and corn syrup. Bring it to a low boil. Then clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan. Stir occasionally, briefly, and slowly until the candy thermometer reaches 305° F. The color will change to a deep amber. Immediately remove from heat.
- Transfer to a pan. Pour the liquid toffee mixture into a foil-lined pan. Allow to sit until stable but still hot, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the toppings. Quickly sprinkle the mini chocolate chips over the top of the hot toffee. Cover the pan with foil to seal in the heat and melt the chocolate chips. After 3 minutes or so, spread the chocolate in an even layer with a spatula. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and sea salt flakes.
- Chill. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes, then transfer to a large cutting board. Use a large, heavy, sharp-tipped knife to crack the candy into pieces, starting at the outer edge.
Tips for Success
Here are a few things to keep in mind before making this toffee for the first time.
- Check the day’s humidity. Toffee will always turn out better on a day that is not humid, as humidity can cause the butter to separate.
- Prepare everything in advance. Since this recipe comes together quickly, I recommend preparing the foil pan and measuring all ingredients before you start the recipe.
- Use a heavy saucepan. For the best heat distribution and even cooking, use a pot that is noticeably heavy with a substantial/thick base.
- Use a candy thermometer. Some say you can do without a candy thermometer. But I always rely on one when it comes to making toffee and caramel recipes. Besides, it adds an element of fun – watching the temperature rise, waiting for the precise moment to take the pan off the heat. Do NOT let a candy thermometer scare you away from making these treats!
- Keep a steady temperature. Note that every stove is different, and that your “medium” heat is likely a bit different than mine. Aim to keep a very steady, even temperature throughout the whole process. Toffee does not like to be shocked by a sudden rise or fall in temperature.
- Only stir occasionally. It’s tempting to want to stir the beautiful bubbling sugar mixture constantly, but err on the side of not stirring. Constant stirring can cause the toffee to crystallize and/or separate. I usually stir only a handful of times, and only slowly and briefly.
- Ensure the toffee mixture doesn’t burn. Watch carefully, especially near the end, as the temperature rises at a faster rate right at the end. Take care to not let the temperature go about the 305° F goal.
- Add the chocolate while the toffee is still hot. It’s important to add the chocolate chips while the toffee is still hot, so that the warmth will melt the chocolate.
Buttercrunch toffee is a fun addition to holiday cookie trays, with their pretty jagged and irregular pieces.
It’s also great for gift-giving. Glass jars and cute little bags are both great options for packaging it as an edible gift.
How to Store
- How to store. Store buttercrunch toffee in an airtight container for up to 10 days. It should be stored in a very cool, dry place at room temperature or in the fridge. If your home is warm, it’s best to store it in the fridge.
- Can I freeze toffee? You can also freeze toffee for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or at room temperature.
More Edible Gift Ideas:
Like this toffee recipe? Save it to Pinterest!
With buttery toffee, chocolate, and nuts, this Buttercrunch Toffee tastes just like a homemade Heath bar! Homemade toffee makes a great sweet, salty and crunchy treat throughout the holidays and is perfect for gift-giving too!
- 1.5 cups unsalted butter
- 1.5 cups granulated sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 10 ounces mini semisweet chocolate chips - I use Ghirardelli
- 3/4 cup finely chopped roasted almonds or pecans - I use Trader Joe's roasted & salted pecans
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Maldon sea salt flakes
- This recipe works best when you prep everything first. Line a 15″ x 10″ rimmed pan with foil, extending over the edges, and measure out all ingredients.
- Place heavy saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. Then whisk in water and let heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in sugar and corn syrup. Nudge the heat up just a bit (not quite medium-high) and stir fairly constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture comes to a light boil.
- Clip candy thermometer to the inside of the saucepan. Stir only occasionally and briefly with a wooden spoon, slowly and evenly, until candy thermometer reaches 305° F. The mixture will change color as it cooks, from very light to deep amber. Watch carefully, especially near the end, as the temperature rises at a faster rate right at the end. Immediately remove sauce pan from heat.
- Pour hot liquid toffee mixture into prepared rimmed pan. Allow to sit until mixture is stable, but still hot - this should take 2 to 3 minutes.
- Quickly sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the top of the hot toffee, in an even layer. Cover pan with foil to seal in heat and melt the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes undisturbed, or until all the chocolate chips look glossy. Then spread the melty chocolate chips into an even layer - an offset spatula works great for this. Immediately sprinkle with the chopped nuts and sea salt flakes.
- Chill until firm - I place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove pan from freezer, lift toffee out of pan by pulling up on the foil, and transfer to a large cutting board. With a large, heavy, sharp-tipped knife, press into the top of the candy to crack it into pieces. Start toward the outer edge and work your way in. Store in an airtight container in a cool place, preferably in the refrigerator or freezer. Keeps very well in the freezer for a few months!
Be sure to read through the "Tips for Success" portion of this post before starting this recipe.
adapted from Mom's recipe box
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 118Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 101mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
This post was previously published in 2010. Photographs and some of the text were updated in 2019 and 2021.
Could I use regular dark chocolate (like belgian melting blocks) instead of the chocolate chips?
Do you have to spray the tinfoil so that the toffee doesn’t stick?
Hi Kay – I do not spray it, and have very little issue with sticking – mostly because I chill it before breaking it up, which makes it quite brittle. You would be just fine to lightly spray the foil if you want.
Oh Brenda, you are killing me! I haven’t made toffee in years, I have got to remedy that!! This looks so delicious!!
Thanks for sharing your fun tradition. Our family has always made toffee too. So good!
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!
I love this, Suzanne! :)
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!
So sweet! Great recipe too!
Thanks, Amanda. :)
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!
Thank you so much for taking the time to come back to comment, Debbie. I’m so glad everyone liked this! :)
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! :)
I agree…not a bad day to open that knock on the door! ;)
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!
Hi Debbie – I hope your husband (and you!) like this!!
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!
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!!
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!
That’s WONDERFUL to hear, Nancy! Thanks for letting me know – happy snow day!!
Ooh, that is sinful!
yum! I can’t wait to try these! They look delicious :)
Thanks Lynne! (Hey peoples! This food blogger is just 15 years old – give her a hand!!)
Vivid memories of cold linoleum were running through my head as I read this. Thanks for the memories! xo
Now my toes are cold! Great memory of fetching those goodies, Cheryl!
I love that tradition of your family’s! This treat looks too good not to try.
You got that right, Paula!
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.
Hi Avril – great to hear from you again! Have fun trying not to eat all that toffee…
What a lovely, fun tradition! I want Christmas at YOUR house! The toffee looks killicious, yikes and yum.
Yes, very fun stuff, Stephanie! Lots of great memories.
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!
Well…Happy Birthday to your kid!!! :)