Gingerbread toffee is the sweet treat you need to make for holiday treats or gift giving! If you love classic toffee and the flavors of gingerbread - molasses, ginger, cinnamon - this is the best!
Choose your own adventure with crushed gingerbread or slivered almonds to sprinkle over melted white chocolate that covers this gingerbread toffee like a decadent blanket!
I love making toffee for the holidays! The ingredients are minimal, the steps are simple, the only trick is getting the sugar to the right temperature with the help of a candy thermometer.
This recipe is based on my buttercrunch toffee recipe that is a family favorite. We're swapping out the corn syrup for molasses and adding in classic gingerbread spices.
Easy pantry ingredients are all you need! You'll definitely need a candy thermometer (this is the one I have) to make sure your sugar gets to the right 'stage'.
For the toffee: you'll need light brown sugar, molasses, water, and butter. Once this mixture reaches 285°F - in between soft and hard crack stage - you'll add the vanilla, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmegs.
For the chocolate layer: for this recipe we're using white chocolate chips, however typically toffee is made with milk or semi sweet chocolate. Use whatever you prefer!
For the crunch crumbles on top: I used crushed gingerbread people for an extra ginger kick! If you love the classic toffee recipe, you can substitute nuts like slivered almonds or crushed walnuts.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Gingerbread Toffee
All you need is a little patience and a watchful eye! Don't let the mixture heat too fast or over too hot a burner. Working with sugar doesn't have to be tricky!
In a heavy bottom saucepan, add light brown sugar, unsalted butter, molasses, and water. Stir to combine over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover with lid for 1 minute to wash any sugar residue off the sides of the pan.
Cook the candy mixture without stirring until the temperature reaches 285°F. Remove from heat immediately. (See notes in the recipe for tips on burner hot spots.)
Add vanilla extract and baking soda and spice mixture. Stir vigorously for about 10 turns of a nonstick spatula and immediately pour over the prepared baking sheet.
Spread the toffee evenly over the surface until about ¼-inch in thickness. Work quickly to spread the toffee, it will set within 30 seconds.
While the toffee is still warm, sprinkle evenly with the white chocolate chips and allow the heat from the toffee to melt the chips, this will take about 60 to 90 seconds. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the toffee.
Spread the toffee evenly over the Top with crushed gingerbread or slivered almond pieces while the chocolate is still warm. Place the pan in the refrigerator until the toffee is firm, about 15-20 minutes. Cut into slightly larger than 'bite-sized' pieces, or break it apart with your hands.
Hint: My biggest tip for making toffee - when in doubt, lower the heat! It may take longer for your toffee to get to the right temperature but its better than the taste of burnt sugar!
How to Store Toffee
Once you break apart your gingerbread toffee, store it in an air-tight container. You can use treat bags, mason jars, or cookie tins for gift-giving. Otherwise, any sealable bag will work.
Store the ginger toffee at room temperature. If it gets too hot, the chocolate will melt. If preparing in advance you can store it in the fridge.
If freezing, freeze in a single layer with parchment paper between each layer (if there are multiple layers.)
Its not that one sugar is better than the other, but each sugar will change the final flavor of the toffee. White sugar will have a lighter caramel flavor, whereas brown sugar is a little sweeter, more caramel taste, and that subtle molasses taste to it.
Toffee made with brown sugar will be a rich caramel brown and toffee made with white sugar will be a pale brown color.
When you first add the water, it will help soften the ingredients before cooking. As the sugar mixture boils, the water will evaporate and also keep the sugar temperature from climbing too quickly.
Crystallization will happen if the mixture heats too quickly. It builds on the sides of the pot and then mixes back into the toffee. That is why the recipe step include covering the mixture for 1 minute before bringing it to a boil so the steam will 'wash down' the sides of the pan.
What Do I Need to Make Gingerbread Candy?
As mentioned before, you'll definitely need a candy thermometer. The kind that clips onto the side of the pan is the best choice. They're also relatively inexpensive.
The best pan for making this toffee recipe is a heavy bottom sauce pan. One that spreads the heat of the burner evenly - this will help keep the sugar from burning.
My other go-to tools are a silicone spatula, a silpat mat, and a standard baking sheet.
Other Gingerbread Sweets...
Need more gingerbread candy ideas? Say no more!
Gingerbread fudge is creamy, spicy, and sweet - also simple to make! Win win!
It doesn't get any easier than two-ingredient gingerbread bark, and while it's not technically a candy, this gingerbread popcorn is just like your standard kettle corn recipe but with added gingerbread spices!
If you loved this recipe, I'd appreciate it if you would leave a star rating in the recipe card and comment below! Don't forget to tag @hungerthirstplay when you post on Instagram and Facebook so I can see all your hard work!
- candy thermometer
- silpat mat
- sheet pan
- heavy bottom saucepan
- ¾ cup crushed gingerbread cookies or slivered almonds
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1¼ cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)
- ½ cup unsalted butter (cut in pieces)
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Line a sheet pan with a silpat mat. Alternatively, you can spray with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.¼ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, add light brown sugar, unsalted butter, molasses, and water. Stir to combine over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover with lid for 1 minute to wash any sugar residue off the sides of the pan.1¼ cup light brown sugar, ½ cup unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons molasses, 2 tablespoons water
- Uncover and clip on candy thermometer. Cook the candy mixture without stirring until the temperature reaches 285°F. Remove from heat immediately. Note: Depending on your stove you may have a 'hot spot' on your burner. To keep the sugar from burning, you can "move" the mixture around gently with a rubber spatula occasionally but this may extend the cooking time slightly.
- Add vanilla extract and baking soda and spice mixture. Stir vigorously for about 10 turns of a nonstick spatula and immediately pour over the prepared baking sheet. Spread the toffee evenly over the surface until about ¼-inch in thickness. Work quickly to spread the toffee, it will set within 30 seconds.1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- While the toffee is still warm, sprinkle evenly with the white chocolate chips and allow the heat from the toffee to melt the chips, this will take about 60 to 90 seconds. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the toffee. Top with crushed gingerbread or slivered almond pieces while the chocolate is still warm.1 cup white chocolate chips, ¾ cup crushed gingerbread cookies or slivered almonds
- Place the pan in the refrigerator until the toffee is firm, about 15-20 minutes. Turn out onto a cutting board, using a sharp knife cut into slightly larger than 'bite-sized' pieces, or break it apart with your hands. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- The molasses flavor of this toffee is similar to a traditional old-fashioned gingerbread recipe. If you'd like more of a buttercrunch toffee flavor, substitute half or all of the molasses with light corn syrup.
- Traditionally toffee is topped with some sort of nut - slivered almonds, crushed almonds, chopped walnuts, etc, but crushed gingerbread cookie pieces are a festive topping. Use whatever sounds best to you!
- Be sure to work quickly after adding the baking soda mixture to the hot toffee, it sets fast!
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