BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

The Last Last-Minute Gift

18 Comments

Browse around the web for five minutes or more and you’ll undoubtedly run across at least a dozen “last-minute gift guides,” all touting effortless tokens for the people you forgot you should care about. Heartwarming stuff to consider right before Christmas, isn’t it? Since Chanukah has been long over for weeks now, it’s strange to watch it all unfold from the sidelines, without getting swept up in the madness as I usually do each year.

Of course, I do still have one suggestion here at the eleventh hour, but I’ll level with you: This post is more for my benefit, but you might just enjoy the results, too. Why sit on this fabulous candy recipe for another full calendar cycle, holding it back through the austere days of the New Year while everyone suffers a collective sugar hangover? While your sweet tooth is still in gear, set aside a few extra minutes for this simple yet transcendent treat. I had merely wanted to play around with the gold-tinted crystals of Zulka sugar that the company had been kind enough to send my way, but the toffee that came of my kitchen capers was anything but ordinary.

My dad, a man who knows his way around all things candy and an avowed sugar-supporter if I ever did meet one, claimed that this was some of the best toffee he ever had. No small compliment coming from such a knowledgeable source! So, if you find even one inch of space remaining on your cookie plate, in your candy baskets, or simply in your stomach, take that last-minute before the holidays all blow over to make yourself a batch. If one crisp, golden, nutty morsel of toffee is the last sugary taste on your lips for the rest of 2013, it would leave you with a sweet memory of the season indeed.

Golden Macadamia Toffee

1 Cup Toasted, Lightly Chopped Macadamia Nuts
2/3 Cup Vegan White Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Non-Dairy Margarine
1 Cup Zulka Sugar
1 Tablespoon Grade B Maple Syrup
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, lightly grease, and sprinkle the macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips as evenly over the bottom as possible. Set aside.

Combine the margarine, sugar, maple syrup, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan and set over moderate heat. Stir just to moisten all of the sugar, and then keep your spatula out of the mixture until the very end. Instead, swirl the pan gently to mix the contents, which will help prevent premature crystal formation.

Allow the margarine to melt and sugar to dissolve before clipping a thermometer to the side of the pan. You’ll want to bring the sugar to a steady boil, until it turns a deep amber brown color and reaches 300 degrees, which is also known as the “hard crack stage” of candy making.

Turn off the heat, carefully stir in the vanilla as it may sputter angrily, and immediately pour the mixture into your prepared pan. Try to pour it evenly over the goodies within, because the more you spread it around with your spatula, the more you’ll smear the melting white chocolate. Don’t worry if it doesn’t reach all the way to the edges of the pan.

Let cool completely before snapping into more manageable pieces. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

18 thoughts on “The Last Last-Minute Gift

  1. I love macadamia brittle. But I’ve only made it with regular white sugar. Lovely!

  2. This is gorgeous! And I have some macadamia nuts in my cupboard! :)

  3. Love how you titled this post “The” Last-Minute Gift. You are absolutely correct. Who would want anything else standing in the wings with this heavenly creation sitting in front of you. NO idea what Zulka sugar is but am going to find out. I figure we can use our common or garden sugar here as it’s all vegan and as Australia is the home of the macadamia (some people might be surprised to find that out ;) ) no shortage of the unctuous nut here. Looks like you nailed it girl! Chanukah, Christmas, other strange celebrations from the north inclusive…EVERYONE is going to love this! Kudos on managing to find a last minute gift that hits the nail on the head for just about everyone :)

    • Absolutely, swap sugars to your heart’s content! Turbinado or raw sugar would be best from a flavor standpoint, but any granulated variety will work just fine. I might have some special sugar over here, but I so wish I had access to some of your macadamia riches…

      • None down here in Tassie (but I am working on that… got to be SOME benefits to global warming! ;) ) but stacks on the Mainland. Raw sugar would be my choice here. You can be sure that this delectable treat is going to be made and scoffed post haste. Cheers for the great holiday share :)

  4. Lovely! Thanks for this post, I’ll be sure to use it! :)

  5. Sounds wonderful, Hannah. Have a wonderful Christmas, filled with joy and good food.

    janet

  6. That is brilliant :D I adore brittle any time!
    And who does love macadamia nuts!

    Happy Holidays!
    CCU

  7. Beautiful! I mean all candy is beautiful but this REALLY is :) I am also not a fan of the whole gift-giving mania; I would loveee to get this instead of another wasteful knick-knack I’ll never use.

  8. Wonderful my dear :) I love your analysis of last-minute shopping- “the people you forgot you should care about”- priceless :) This looks so delicious and I am so intrigues by this Zulca sugar!

  9. Yum! I love a good toffee! Usually I make mine with peanuts, but macadamia sounds even better!

  10. Such a good way to use up white chocolate chips! Did you use Earth Balance sticks or tub?

    • Always sticks for baking or cooking! The tubs are formulated with more water so that they spread easily when they’re cold, straight from the fridge, which would throw off the ratios in most recipes. Hope you enjoy, and have a very happy holiday!

  11. This looks wonderful Hannah! I haven’t had brittle in years, never thought to make it with macadamia nuts instead of peanuts. I love macadamia nuts, they’re so buttery and wonderful.

    Happy holidays to you!

  12. This is just wrong wrong wrong (in all the ways that it should be)! Gorgeous and sounds deeelicious. I’ll be trying this and sending it to my Dad (he loves toffee)! Thanks!

  13. A little late but better late than never for these awesome looking toffee. :-)

  14. Beautiful! Brittles, toffees, count me in. I’m normally a sucker for hazelnuts but I will have to try macadamia next time!

  15. If that was the best toffee your dad ever had…then that will be the best toffee recipe I will need to try! My dad loves macadamia nuts and I’ve been nuts on vegan white chocolate bars lately… they are a German brand and have a variety of flavors from dried fruits to cappuccino. The Golden Macadamia Toffee looks gorgeous and lovely! I need to check out Zulka sugar, I’ve been using raw Turbinado sugar a lot for cooking and that looks like an interesting product to use and try in my sweet dishes and desserts, thank you for the recommendation! Have a brilliant 2014, Hannah!

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