Aunt Ruthie’s Terrific Toffee

Image by The Tromp Queen, CC license
Image by The Tromp Queen, CC license

I realize I’m a little late sharing this for this year, but this is my favorite Christmas candy of all time. I want to say “THANK YOU!” to readers of The Tromp Queen. I’m thankful for the journey this blog has taken me on with all of you. Please accept this token of my gratitude:

 Aunt Ruthie’s Terrific Toffee recipe.

Aunt Ruthie has been gone a little over 8 years now.  I think of her often and miss her so much!

My Dad was one of 8 children. Aunt Ruthie was one of his older sisters. Way into her late 80’s she was “taking care of the old people.” She would make pounds and pounds of Christmas candy and home-made noodles and baked goods each year (fudge, toffee, pecan rolls, cinnamon rolls, butterhorn rolls, and more). All through the Holiday season, lots of goodies would be sitting on top of her washer and dryer on her screened-in porch (between the kitchen and garage). Friends and family could help themselves as they were coming or going from her house. She was tiny, feisty, hard-working, witty and quick-to-laugh. She loved the Cubs and the Republican Party! She collected Hummel figurines, old dishes and various antiques. She was a FABULOUS cook.

We drove by Aunt Ruthie’s grave today. She and her husband, Uncle Spike (his real name was Dale, but he lost both hands in a corn picker and wore metal hooks that opened and closed so he could drive and do all sorts of things) are buried in a little country graveyard a couple miles from the nearest small town, just down the road from where my cousins now live in a new house built on her old farm land.

Agate gravestone
Agate gravestone

Their headstone is a huge agate rock that was found on their farm. Aunt Ruthie had it polished and cut when Uncle Spike died in a tragic car accident when I was 15 years old.
I could write many blogs posts just about Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Spike, but I will not keep you waiting for the recipe any longer!

Aunt Ruthie’s Toffee

1 c. packed brown sugar
2 sticks of butter
chopped pecans
good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips or bars

In a saucepan, heat the sugar and butter on medium heat until it reaches 280 degrees.  (My mom’s note says you “can turn it on high” 🙂  Stir most of the time.

Butter a pan (jelly roll type or cookie sheet).  Crush or finely chop pecans (or whatever nuts you like) and spread them around on the buttered pan.

(I would probably toast them first, but I don’t think Aunt Ruthie did that).

Pour hot the sugar mixture over the nuts.  When it sets up some, put chocolate on top (chips or broken up bars).  It will melt.  Spread the chocolate around. Break it into pieces when it has cooled.


Thank you, dear Aunt Ruthie!


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I am a pianist, musician, music teacher, choir director, mother, wife, daughter, sister, cousin, sister-in-law, friend, neighbor. I enjoy music (of course!), quilting, sewing, beading, traveling, kayaking, camping, biking, hiking, gardening, knitting, scrapbooking, cooking, reading, poetry, drinking good coffee, and having fun with family and friends. NOTE -- Creative Commons License: All work of The Tromp Queen (quirkyjazz, aka Jill) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported License.

4 thoughts on “Aunt Ruthie’s Terrific Toffee”

  1. I am just now catching up on your blog posts! I have added this to my Word Document of “need to try recipes…” I loved reading about your Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Spike. You have the best memory and are a gifted writer. Miss you! Happy New Year!

    1. I hope you try the recipe! Thank you for commenting. I just checked out your blog and am now following! It is nice to meet you! Enjoy. (Please let me know if you do try the recipe! I’d love to hear how you like it and how it turns out for you).

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