English Toffee and Holiday Traditions

When I married into my husband’s family I was introduced to generations of food and family traditions. I’ve shared many of our holiday traditions on our website. There are some recipes I can share and others that are only to be passed between family members. There are many recipes that we have for Sunday dinners, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We live far away from our family. On an occasional Sunday or when a holiday draws close one of my sister in laws will send out a group message asking for one of Mom’s recipes. Each time, return text messages with pictures of the same recipe in our own handwriting comes through it’s a reminder that no matter how far away we are from each other, we are linked by those simple recipes that we all enjoy in the comfort of our homes.

woman texting

Western Union recently hosted a customer appreciation dinner where they invited customers to share their traditions and favorite meals. The response they received was overwhelming. The staff at Western Union were struck by the cultural diversity of the participants, their strong sense of family and their love of native foods. It became clear that food is a part of someone’s cultural identity and a link to family and good memories.

Western Union has become a lifeline  lifeline for their customers, connecting them to their families and friends around the world. A lot of customers who send money home don’t boast about it. Nor do they consider making money to support their family out of the ordinary. Albeit selfless and challenging, it is standard within their cultures.

To celebrate the holiday season, Western Union compiled those cultures, traditions and food ideas into this video.

english toffee

As a Merry Christmas to our viewers, we are sharing one of our favorite traditional Christmas recipes–our english toffee– with you today.

English Toffee with Western Union


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (approximate) chocolate chips
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. In a saucepan, place butter, sugar and salt. Melt butter over low heat. After butter has melted, turn heat to medium high and begin to boil. Stir frequently. Place candy thermometer in the pan once toffee has started to boil and cook to a hard crack. (Approximately 150 degrees celsius and 302 degrees farenheit).
  2. Tip: I usually take my toffee off in between the soft and hard crack stage and stir in the vanilla. The toffee will continue to heat when you take it off the burner. By the time you take it off the burner and stir in the vanilla, it will have reached the hard crack stage.
  3. Pour the hot toffee thinly over a sheet of aluminum foil that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick spray. Spread the toffee out with a spatula if needed.
  4. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the hot toffee and allow the chocolate chips to melt. With a frosting knife, spread the melted chocolate evenly over the toffee. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over if desired (optional).
  5. Allow toffee to cool for at least one hour before breaking into pieces. this allows the chocolate to set up.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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