Toffee has been around for about 200 years. In 19th century England they had Toffee Parties in the winter. They especially had them in January, and so the start of Jan 8th as National English Toffee day. In the early 18th century sweets were expensive to make. It was affordable to the wealthy class. Later in the century the price of sugar and its by-product treacle dropped. Thus, sugar became more available to other classes. Additionally, "taffia" , a West Indies rum, was often used as an inexpensive sweetener. Some say toffee got its name from taffia. Toffee was popular in the U.S. in the 19th century. It was made in many households. This type of toffee known as English Toffee is very buttery and often made with almonds. It was available in both chewy and hard versions. The famous Heath bar is a type of candy made with an English toffee core. An easy recipe for plain toffee: 1 lb sugar, light brown 1/3 pint water 2 1/2 tablespoons butter 2 level tablespoons golden syrup 1 teaspoon white vinegar Put all ingredients into a large heavy bottomed saucepan and stir over a steady heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil and cook until mixture reached the hard crack stage, 290 degrees. To test for the hard crack stage drop about 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture into a cup of cold water, if it is hard then it is done. If soft and chewy cook a little longer and test again. Pour into oiled or buttered tin and either allow to set as a slab or mark in squares as toffee becomes partially set. When cold break into squares, wrap in cellophane and store in an airtight container. makes 1 to 1 1/2 pounds toffee.