Gift Toffee

1 lb. butter
3 Tbsp. water
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 12-oz. pkg semi-sweet chocolate pieces or 1 (10-oz) bar cut into pieces
1 cup chopped or slivered almonds

In a large cast iron skillet, melt butter, water, sugar, and salt over medium high heat. Stir constantly and rapidly with wooden spoon, keeping sides of pan clean. Boil, stirring rapidly, until mixture starts to turn a deep golden tan. Quickly remove from heat so as not to burn the mixture. Stir in the vanilla.

Pour mixture into rimmed cookie sheet or baking pan, lined with foil or waxed paper. Allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes, then sprinkle mixture with chocolate. When chocolate looks glossy, spread with an offset cake spatula or a wooden spatula, and sprinkle with nuts. Press nuts into chocolate by covering pan with wax paper and pressing with palm of hand.

Cool 8 to 12 hours, then break toffee into chunks. Wrap in foil or plastic film for giving away.

makes 4 pounds