I was at a craft faire the other day and a local toffee company was handing out samples of some of their best selling toffees, one of which was a jalapeno toffee. It was amazing, it started out with a sweet, somewhat smokey flavour and melted in my mouth like regular toffee, and then all of the sudden came the kick. I've made toffee before so I decided it couldn't be that hard to make. It's not. I know it looks like there's a lot of steps, but that's mostly because I didn't want to leave anything out... and I like having lots of pictures. Now this toffee is pretty darn good, even if it isn't QUITE as good as their jalapeno toffee, but it's also not $6 for like 4 pieces either... sooooo.... yeah. Oh yeah, feel free to play with the amount of jalapeno's in this recipe, I used what I had, which were from my own garden and not very hot so you might want to use more or less depending on how hot your jalapenos are and how much of a kick you want.
first, melt the 14 tblsp unsalted butter (one stick plus 6 tablespoons) over LOW heat, in a thick bottomed saucepan.
while the butter is melting, cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside
when the butter is melted it's time to add 1 cup of sugar and 2 tblsp cold water.
turn the heat up to medium and use a whisk to fully incorporate the sugar and water, once it is incorporated switch to a wooden spoon
When it starts to bubble it's time to clip on your candy thermometer (if you're using one, I found that it wasn't really neccessary) and add your 1/4 tsp salt and your jalapenos (1/4 cup, more or less depending on your personal taste.
watch it closely, stir occasionally, and PLEASE resist the urge to turn up the heat, you don't need it any hotter than medium. when it turns a peanut butter color it's probably done. If you're using a candy thermometer it should be at about 300 F, although mine was at about 280 F when it was done. If you want to you can try putting a spoonfull of the toffee in a glass of ice water and it should be crunchy, but you have to do it quickly because the toffee will burn in like a second.
Remove from heat, stir in 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 cup of chopped almonds. Pour onto your parchment paper. Spread out to the desired thickness.
There are two ways to do the chocolate. You can go ahead and sprinkle your chocolate chips right over the top of the cooling toffee and spread with a spatula as they melt, or you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler and pour over the top of it.
While the chocolate is still melty you can sprinkle more almonds on the top, I've also seen people sprinkle toffee with sea salt or even crushed candy canes. Do what you want or leave it plain. you might want to push the toppings down a little bit so it stays on when the chocolate hardens. put it in the fridge and let it cool completely.
Once it's completely cooled, SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER!!!! Or, break it apart with your hands... that probably works better... And the most crucial step of all, taste it, y'know... to make sure it taste's good and all.