No scary candy thermometer. Just you, your microwave and a positively indecent amount of butter. Perfect.
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup coarsely chopped, toasted almonds
First toast your almonds. Just spread them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350°F (180°C)for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once, until lightly browned. (Toast a few more almonds than you'll need for the recipe to allow for, um, taste testing.) Chop coarsely and set aside. Grease a 9 x 13 in. (23 x 33 cm) rectangular baking pan.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the sugar, butter, water and corn syrup. Place in the microwave and cook on high power for 4 minutes. Stir, then continue to nuke it on high for another 6 to 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until the mixture is golden brown. During this process, please have your eager young helpers stand back from the extremely hot candy mixture. Even the bowl gets too hot for a child to handle safely. Remove mixture from the microwave, stir in the vanilla and immediately pour into the prepared baking pan, spreading to the edges with a (heat resistant) spatula. Let cool for a minute or two, then have your child sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the hot mixture in the pan. (Parental supervision is absolutely necessary to make sure your child doesn't touch the hot toffee.) As soon as the chocolate chips are softened, carefully spread them to cover the top of the toffee in an even layer. Have your child sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate. Let cool completely (at room temperature or in the refrigerator), then break into pieces.