Brown sugar, pecans, chocolate, and butter are simple ingredients but when combined, heated, and transformed into candy, they have the power to turn me to the dark side. I am helpless to fight the seduction of toffee. I think the delicious treat is the work of the devil exemplified through the Seven Deadly Sins.
1. Greed. The sweet confection makes me a greedy, cheating hoarder. A neighbor gave me a can of Almond Roca, and I immediately hid it so my husband or children couldn't enjoy a single piece. I don't care. It's all mine, mine, mine.
2. Gluttony. Toffee leads me into temptation. I cannot have one piece. I will stand until my feet spread to consume an entire batch and not stop to breathe until I have licked every morsel from the platter. I'm not proud of this fact.
3. Lust. I'm addicted to exquisitely-crafted homemade toffee. However, on days of desperation, I'll settle for a mediocre sample from a truck stop, the kind that is too brittle or stale. I crave the taste, and I want more. Now.
4. Envy. I can't pass a candy store without gazing in the window and slobbering over festive trays of caramels covered with chocolate and nuts. I'm jealous of people buying and tasting toffee that should belong to me.
5. Anger. I'm equally mad about two issues: when the toffee is gone and when I step on the scale and see that eating all that gooey goodness makes me weigh the same as a compact car. I'm far over the weight I was decades ago at nine-months pregnant when I wailed about my rotund girth before giving birth.
6. Pride. I'll labor for hours to create the perfect recipe for almond toffee. Then I'll post photos on every social media platform to let the world know that I did it and I'm going to eat it. Ha!
7. Sloth. After waddling through decades of tasting toffee, it's apparent that I'm as lethargic as a bowl of thick butter on a humid afternoon. Especially during the holidays, toffee saps my energy, and all I want to do is sit in a dark room and chew. Sometimes I pull empty Almond Roca foil wrappers out of the waste basket just to smell them. I've taken pathetic to a new level, and I need counseling.
To atone for my many sins, I've decided to share and give back to society. In the spirit of generosity, here is my recipe for English Toffee:
1 Cup butter
1-1/4 Cups brown sugar
2 Tablespoons water
½ Cup chopped pecans
1 Cup milk chocolate chips
Butter a 10X15 inch pan.
Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon.
Stir in sugar and water. Bring to a boil and add the pecans.
Cook, stirring constantly until nuts are toasted and the sugar is dissolved. Pour into the buttered pan. Be sure to lick the spoon. Spread chocolate chips on top. Cool. Break into pieces. Eat half and share the rest.
My New Year's resolution -- again -- is to lose weight and be healthier. I will consume fresh vegetables and fruit, exercise, and prepare nutritious meals. Maybe I'll create a new recipe for zucchini and kale toffee. With enough butter, sugar, and nuts, it could be delicious.