Made with just 5 ingredients, this Almond Butter Toffee (Buttercrunch) is made with rich butter toffee laced with toasted almonds, between two layers of melted chocolate and even more almonds. It’s easier to make than you may think and perfect for holiday gift-giving!
This Almond Butter Toffee recipe is one I always love to make around the holidays because it reminds me of my dad. He used to buy buttercrunch candy from Luara Secord’s, a chocolate store at the mall here in Canada. It was a special treat he and I loved to share.
There’s no longer a Luara Secord’s shop at the mall, so I turned to my kitchen to recreate this almond butter toffee just as I remembered it.
When making this toffee, I used my preferred method of making candy – the way my grandma taught me with the cold water test. While a candy thermometer is always good as a secondary gauge, I find the cold water test much more reliable so I’ve included tips on how to use it for this recipe, in case you don’t have a candy thermometer handy.
You’ll also see in the photo that I used both whole and slivered roasted almonds. This was mostly because that is what I had in my kitchen at the time but I also think the whole almonds look better in the butter toffee filling.
I love making extra almond crunch to give as gifts around the holiday. Everyone loves it and it’s easy enough that I don’t mind making a few extra batches.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Butter – For this recipe, you’ll want to use salted butter for the added flavor. I do not add any additional salt to the recipe. It also helps to add stabilization. (More on this below.)
- Granulated sugar – the backbone to any candy.
- Light corn syrup – Corn syrup helps prevent the candy from crystallizing and helps create a smooth texture.
- Toasted almonds – I used both whole almonds and slivered almonds but you can use one or the other.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips – Dark chocolate chips could also be used for a twist.
Can Other Nuts Besides Almonds be used?
Of course. You can use any nut to make almond crunch. It just won’t be almond crunch… it will be “enter nut type here” crunch!
How to Make Almond Butter Toffee
To make your butter toffee, begin by melting the butter in a deep-sided frying pan over low heat. Once it’s melted, add the sugar and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved and no longer granular.
Slowly stir in the water and corn syrup.
Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring slowly and frequently with a wooden spoon to avoid scorching the toffee. Cook until the mixture turns a light caramel colour and reaches a temperature of 290°F.
It’s a good idea to do the cold water test a little before the temperature reaches 290°F because I find that some thermometers can be a little off and you don’t want to miss the window of getting the texture right.
To do this drop a small amount of the syrup into cold water. It should immediately become brittle but not rock hard. If it stays soft, continue cooking for a few minutes.
Once you’ve determined that the candy is at the brittle stage, remove the pan from heat and carefully stir in the almonds.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the candy mixture over it. It should be about ¼ inch in thickness. Let cool completely.
Spread the chocolate chips on top of the cooled butter toffee. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until the chocolate melts. Remove from the oven and spread the chocolate evenly over the almond toffee.
Sprinkle half of the remaining almonds over the chocolate while it’s still warm.
Allow the chocolate to set and cool. I like to place it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so.
Once it has cooled and set completely, carefully flip the slab of butter crunch over. Repeat the process with the remaining chocolate chips and almonds.
Place the almond butter crunch in the fridge for 20 minutes to set and chill.
Once it has been set, and no longer sticky, break it into pieces and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Buttercrunch Toffee
- Be sure to not let the almond butter toffee sit too long in the fridge before breaking into pieces or the chocolate will become brittle and separate from the candy. You just want it to be hard enough to break without it being soft or sticky.
- If the top of the candy looks a bit oily after you have poured it into the pan and let it cool use a paper towel to dab up some of the excess oil and then using a small sieve give the top of the candy a light dusting with flour to dry it up a bit. If the candy is oily the chocolate will have a hard time sticking to it and will slide off.
- Use a wooden spoon when stirring and don’t stir too quickly. Stirring the sugar too quickly can lead to crystallization and so can a change in heat … metal conducts heat.
- Only let the chocolate set on top until it is cool enough to touch without being sticky. Letting the candy sit in the fridge before breaking into pieces may result in large pieces of chocolate breaking away from the candy. Just cool in the fridge until the chocolate is set on both sides and break before storing for longer periods.
How to Store Almond Chocolate Brittle
Once the buttercrunch toffee, is broken into pieces it can be stored in a cool dry place or in the fridge. If you are in a warm climate, the fridge is the best option. It will last for 10 to 14 days. (If you can go that long without eating it all – I certainly can’t!)
You can also freeze butter toffee for up to 6 months in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.
Why Did My Butter Separate?
There are a few reasons why your butter could separate while making buttercrunch toffee.
- Using unsalted butter. Usually, for most baking, I recommend unsalted butter but for candy salted is better because the tiny bit of salt in the butter helps with stabilization.
- The heat is too high. Turn it down a bit and take it slow.
- Stirring has not been frequent enough to keep the butter and sugar from separating. If this happens you can likely fix it by lowering the heat and stirring slowly constantly. If you find that when you pour the candy onto the pan that the top of the candy is a bit oily you can gently blot it with a paper towel after it cools. Then before adding the chocolate chips give it a very light dusting with some flour to soak up the excess oil. If the top of the candy is too oily the chocolate won’t stick to it and it will slide right off. You won’t notice the flour at all.
What If I Don’t Have Candy Thermometer?
Without a candy thermometer, you’ll need to do the cold-water test. This is actually my preferred way of making candy, just like my grandmother taught me. I use the candy thermometer as a secondary measure to double-check the temperature but primarily rely on the cold water test.
To do the cold water test, you’ll need to drop about a teaspoon of the candy into a bowl of cold water. Note that the water should be cold but not ice water.
After a few seconds, you can touch the candy and judge whether it’s done by the texture. For this buttercrunch toffee, it should have a brittle-like texture but not rock hard.
Here are the other stages of candy with temperatures, as a guide.
- Thread Stage – 230°F-235°F. This isn’t technically candy yet but more of a syrup substance.
- Soft Ball Stage – 235°F-240°F. This results in a fudge-like texture, that forms a soft ball when dropped in the water. It will flatten outside the water.
- Firm Ball Stage – 245°F-250°F. A little firmer than the soft ball stage but still soft enough to form into shapes or flatten.
- Hard Ball Stage – 250°F-265°F. Candy cooked to this stage will form a hard ball when dropped in the water. It won’t lose its shape but is just soft enough that you can change the shape a bit. This is the stage for making nougat, divinity, and rock candy.
- Soft Crack Stage. – 270°F-290°F. The high end of this stage is where you want to be for butter toffee. When dropped into water, it forms threads that will bend slightly before breaking.
- Hard Crack Stage. 300°F-310°F. This is the final stage for most candy-making. When dropped into water, it forms hard threads that will crack and not bend. Regular toffee, nut brittle, and lollipops are made at this stage.
Do I have to use a wooden spoon?
No, but I highly recommend it because wooden spoons do not conduct heat and are insulated. This is important when working with something like butter toffee that’s heat sensitive.
A metal spoon can conduct the heat away from the area it’s in, which increases the risk of crystallization, whereas a wooden spoon does not.
Additionally, there’s no risk of a wooden spoon scraping the bottom of your pan.
Why has my butter toffee crystallized?
Crystallization of almond crunch usually happens for two reasons – either you let the temperature get too hot or sugar crystals formed on the sides of the pan.
To prevent this, stir your butter toffee slowly and gently. Take care to not splash the mixture up the sides of the pan. If it does (which happens to me frequently), just dip a pastry brush in hot water and push the sugar back down to the toffee mixture.
More Easy Candy & Chocolate Treats:
- Santa’s Reindeer Chow
- Old-Fashioned Brown Sugar Fudge
- Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers
- Peppermint Brownies with Candy Cane Crackle
- No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake Balls
- 4-Ingredient Chocolate Fudge
Almond Butter Toffee (Butter Crunch)
- 1 lb salted butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 cups toasted almonds; rough chopped
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips; divided
- Melt the butter in a heavy deep sided frying pan over low heat.
- Add the sugar and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved or no longer granular.
- Add the water and corn syrup and in and stir slowly.
- Continue to cook the mixture over low heat stirring slowly and frequently with a wooden spoon to avoid scorching. Cook until the candy is a light caramel colour and the temperature has reached 290° F. This is the brittle stage and can also be determined with the cold water test. To do this fill a glass with cold water and then drop a small amount of the syrup into the cold water. The syrup should immediately become brittle but not rock hard.
- Once the candy has reached the brittle stage at 290°F remove it from the heat and carefully with as little agitation as possible mix in 1 1/3 cups of the almonds.
- Pour the candy onto a parchment lined baking sheet to about a 1/4 inch in thickness. Let cool completely.
- Add 3/4 cup chocolate chips to the top of cooled butter toffee and place in an oven on broil for about 1 or two minutes to melt the chocolate. Remove from the oven and use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate over the butter crunch evenly. Sprinkle half of the remaining almonds evenly over the top while the chocolate is still soft. Let the chocolate set. I like to place it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Once the chocolate has set, carefully flip the slab of butter crunch over and repeat with the remaining chocolate chips and almonds. Let the almond butter crunch set in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Then remove and break into pieces, then prepare for storing.
For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How to Make Almond Butter Toffee Story.