To prepare a good English toffee recipe, combine 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a heavy saucepan. Cook to hard-crack stage at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, pour the mixture into an ungreased pan and cool until hard. Melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips over hot water, spread it over the toffee, and sprinkle on 1 cup of coarsely broken pecans. Chill for 30 minutes.
Alternatively spread 2 cups of whole almonds on a cookie sheet, and toast for around 15 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring halfway through. Cool, and chop. Combine 1 1/4 cups of sugar, 1/3 cup of light corn syrup and 1/3 cup of water in a deep heavy saucepan. Stir. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Large bubbles appear after four minutes; cover with a sheet of tin foil, and boil for five minutes. Uncover, and stir in 1 cup of butter, cut into small pieces. Cook uncovered until temperature reaches 285 degrees Fahrenheit or until light brown.
Remove from heat, and add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 cup of almonds. Spread on a lightly buttered cookie sheet, and let the toffee set. Melt the chocolate chips, and spread over the toffee until well covered. Flip toffee over, and repeat on the other side. Cool completely, and break into chunks.