Coffee Toffee and a Starbucks VIA Giveaway!

Coffee Toffee and a Starbucks VIA Giveaway!


I know there are people out there who don’t like coffee. And I try really hard to understand. I do. But I just can’t. I get that it’s an acquired taste. You have to enjoy strong, rich, and multi-dimensional foods. You can’t like weak flavors. You have to crave powerful and fragrant. Like a good strong beer or a pungent cheese, coffee isn’t for the weak-willed. But even if you don’t crave a big strong cup of coffee, can we still agree that the essence of coffee is a beautiful thing? Coffee in desserts and marinades adds flavor that you just can’t get from anywhere else.

Starbucks recently sent me a package with some samples of their VIA. Not only have I been drinking it up, but I also decided to try out one of the recipes they sent me with the package. It was for Coffee Toffee with Milk Chocolate and Pretzels and I jumped right on board with it. You should, too. I have a feeling it could change your whole outlook on coffee.

Coffee Toffee (makes a pan full of toffee… AKA a lot):
Print this recipe! 

  • 2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/8 C corn syrup
  • 2 sticks (1 C) butter
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 C almond slivers
  • 1 C pretzels, chopped
  • 2 packets Starbucks VIA
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/4 C milk chocolate, chopped


First of all, have you had VIA yet? I’m pretty sure it’s saving my life. Starbucks sent me a couple boxes of it and I immediately brought it to work and stuck it in my desk drawer. I recently started a new office job and while I love it, it’s definitely incredibly different from working at home (and sitting in front of the coffee pot all day). Especially when I have things to do after work, like teach a blogging class until 9 p.m., I need an afternoon pick-me-up. VIA to the rescue! All I have to do is heat up some water and pour the VIA in.


But in case you’re thinking “ew, instant coffee.” I swear it’s not like that. Starbucks wouldn’t do that to you and you know it. VIA actually tastes just like a cup of coffee you would buy at the Starbucks down the street. It’s kind of amazing how they do that.


So, yes you can drink it just the way it is. But it’s also perfectly ideal for mixing into any and all baked goods.

To start, sugar, water, and corn syrup to a boil. Using a candy thermometer, boil until mixture reaches 280 degrees F. I thought my thermometer was malfunctioning, so I used two. Yes, I have multiple candy thermometers.


Once the mixture reaches 280 degrees, stir in the butter. Then let the mixture heat further to 315 degrees. Stir in the salt, almonds, and half the pretzels.


Cook until the mixture reaches 320 degrees and then remove from heat and stir in the Starbucks VIA coffee and vanilla.


Pour the toffee into a greased 9x13x2 pan with sides. My pan was a big larger, but as you can see, it was no big deal.


Let the toffee cool for about 15 minutes and then sprinkle on the milk chocolate to cover the surface of the toffee. The sprinkle on the rest of the pretzels and gently press into the chocolate.


Break the toffee into pieces. You can store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. I put mine in the fridge so the chocolate could harden and have been enjoying it for a few days now.


If I’m being completely honest, I have to say this toffee is absolutely amazing! It was my first time making toffee and now only did it taste just like it should, but the coffee gave it a whole new dimension! Of course, I already loved the salty/sweet contrast of the pretzels and chocolate, but the coffee added a depth and slight bitterness that made this more mature than the average coffee.


I know it’s a little bit too early to be thinking about holiday presents, but this toffee nicely packaged with a pretty bow would make an amazing gift. Perhaps with a little box of Starbucks VIA attached? What, that makes me sound like a walking advertisement for Starbucks?


While I’m coming up with big ideas, why doesn’t Starbucks start serving this toffee at their shops? I have a feeling it would be an absolutely huge seller. Coffee, chocolate, toffee, and pretzels… I’m telling you, dreams do come true!

Starbucks VIA Giveaway!

Starbucks wants to give one of our readers the same gift package they sent me! It’s filled with a few packages of VIA, some pretty recipe cards, and a Starbucks spatula.


To enter the giveaway, let me know what you like adding coffee to when cooking or baking.

For additional entries:

1) Follow We are not Martha on Twitter
2) Tweet about this giveaway
3) Fan us on Facebook

Please leave a comment for each additional entry.. And also let us know if you’re already following/a fan/etc. for extra entries. Enter until Sunday October 2, at 11:59 p.m. Good luck!

Edit: Did you know it’s National Coffee Day on Thursday! I guess this post is just in time 🙂 I love when things fall into place like that… And National Coffee Day might be the best idea ever!


139 Responses to "Coffee Toffee and a Starbucks VIA Giveaway!"

  1. Jessie C. says:

    I like adding coffee to bake artisan bread

  2. Jessie C. says:

    Follow We are not Martha on Twitter@tcarolinep

  3. Jessie C. says:

    FB fan
    Jessie c.

  4. Mb says:

    added to chocolate chip cookies, or oatmeal!

  5. Sharon says:

    Looks scrumptious! PLEASE bring some home!

  6. Rebecca C. says:

    I have a chocolate cake recipe that includes coffee in it.

  7. Erin says:

    I love me some Via. It saves me in the afternoon when I am teaching high schoolers and their energy outweighs mine. I like adding it to chocolate cake. Yum!

  8. Simply Life says:

    oh so fun! I saw a chili recipe that had coffee in it and really want to try that this fall/winter!

  9. I love love love coffee… I honestly don’t get people that give it up, except those that can’t physically have it (Adam starts twitching if he does. Not pretty). Saving this recipe for toffee. I LOVE sweet & salty things like that.

  10. I love adding coffee to chocolate desserts… and, more recently, to vodka. Just made homemade Kahlua! Great giveaway.

  11. I follow on twitter (@acambridgestory)

  12. Michelle says:

    I love adding coffee to homemade granola bars. It adds a touch of deeper flavor!

  13. kathy says:

    I love using the Via in my tiramisu. The little packets are so convenient and give a nice, strong coffee flavor.

  14. Regina says:

    I put coffee in anything that has chocolate. It makes the chocolate taste richer.

  15. Kathy says:

    In anything chocolate.

  16. Cya RH says:

    I love adding coffee to my hot chocolate, banana bread, and cakes. I also follow WANM on twitter and liked your Facebook page.

  17. Danielle says:

    I love adding coffee to my hot chocolate! I also love adding chocolate covered espresso beans to my ice cream. I already follow you on twitter

  18. Ashley says:

    I add coffee to any recipe calling for chocolate, but especially cupcakes.

  19. Ashley says:

    I follow on twitter

  20. Ashley says:

    And I am a fan on facebook

  21. anth says:

    To brownies. This recipe looks a-mazing.

  22. Erica says:

    This is so fun! I can’t say enough about the salty & sweet combination- just delicious. Coffee is BEST when added to anything chocolate. They just work together

  23. anth says:

    Tweeted as @ant5s

  24. Lauren S. says:

    I am already a follwer at Twitter @HippeDogCo

  25. Emily says:

    Nothing is better than coffee and chocolate!

  26. Tracy says:

    I like to add some coffee to my chocolate cakes.

  27. Tracy says:

    Following on twitter as “4rosies.”

  28. Tracy says:

    I am now a fan on Facebook!

  29. Robyn says:

    Coffee cupcakes!

  30. Lexi says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever added coffee to anything while baking! Does that mean we can’t be friends anymore? 🙂 Speaking of Starbucks though, did you see their “secret menu” that was on pinterest? It sounds so good!

  31. Lexi says:

    I’m a facebook fan, of course!

  32. Lexi says:

    I’m tweeting about this too!

  33. Lexi says:

    So I obviously follow you on twitter 😉

  34. joan says:

    I always add it to chocolate cupcakes!

  35. Bee says:

    I am already a fan! (under my real name though… I pointed out the lack of butter step in the caramel cupcake recipe, hehe)

  36. Bee says:

    I also follow you on twitter (beecooks) and retweeted the contest!

  37. Bee says:

    Oops that should have been two separate comments! Well I re-tweeted 😉

    And I LOVE via!

  38. Tara says:

    I follow you on Twitter 🙂

  39. Tara says:

    I also liked you on facebook!!

  40. Tara says:

    and I tweeted about your giveaway!

  41. Maureen says:

    I love VIA but never thought to add it to baked goods! Great idea. I would love to put it in coffee cake muffins.

  42. Maureen says:

    I follow you guys on Facebook!

  43. Maureen says:

    I tweeted the giveaway from @mofish417!

  44. Love adding coffee to custards!

  45. Lindsay says:

    Follow on Twitter!! (LindsayInNYC)

  46. burger boy says:

    I love adding coffee to a spice rub, goes great on a grilled steak!

  47. Amanda says:

    I like to add coffee to chocolate cake recipes! I’m currently a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in western China, though, so that means no coffee (only instant Nescafe) and no homemade chocolate cake (no oven). I am so excited to try this toffee recipe!

  48. Kristin says:

    Chocolate!!! especially when I make irish cream truffles, it tastes like an amazing coffee drink 🙂

  49. kimz says:

    Once in a blue moon I’ll make a coffee bundt cake that is super yummy.

  50. kimz says:

    Tweeted the giveaway, of course!

  51. kimz says:

    And hey, already “like” (more like LOVE) you on FB!

  52. Liz says:

    Love added coffee in brownies and chocolate cake (well, anything chocolate). And I just liked you on fb!

  53. Ashalah says:

    Yum!! That sounds delicious. I haven’t added coffee to anything cooked/baked yet but I do have a cake recipe that I’ve been dying to try. Also? I know it’s not really coffee but chocolate covered espresso beans are just about the best thing ever.

    Can I make a confession? I never liked coffee until this year. Now I can’t live without it.

  54. Ashalah says:

    I already like you on facebook and follow you on twitter 🙂 I tweeted about the giveaway here:!/ashalahblogs/status/119432540674211843

  55. susitravl says:

    We tried a coffee rub on pork a couple of months ago and it was DELICIOUS.

  56. Amy says:

    My boyfriend and I made a Coffee Stout Porter beer this past winter, and you put actual coffee grounds into the beer…it was delicious! I too love coffee with just about anything.

    I tweeted about the giveaway @wickedgoodtravl and I already am a fan on FB. Cheers!

  57. susitravl says:

    Like you on FB (SusanBenegas)

  58. Lela says:

    I add a little instant coffee to chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

  59. Lela says:

    And I like you on facebook. 🙂

  60. KatieRK says:

    i love expresso brownies…extra caffeine boost:)

  61. KatieRK says:

    I like(more like love) We are not martha on FB

  62. KatieRK says:

    and i follow via twitter!

  63. Aubrey says:

    Coffee in brownies!
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

  64. Aubrey says:

    I follow We are Not Martha on Twitter.
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

  65. Aubrey says:

    I like you on fb
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

  66. Eva says:

    i always add it to brownies or chocolate cake/cupcakes — it’s all those years of hearing the barefoot contessa tell me to!

  67. Suzy says:

    I add brewed coffee to a chocolate cake recipe, and instant coffee (I always use VIA!) to a brownie recipe…sooooo yummy

  68. Suzy says:

    And I like you on Facebook!

  69. Jen says:

    I like adding coffee to brownies!

  70. Jen says:

    Also like you on Facebook!

  71. i’m a big fan of coffee rubs on meats.


  72. Ally says:

    I like adding coffee to shortbread cookies. It cuts through the sweet a little and makes them a little more “grown-up.”

  73. Rikki says:

    Hi girls! I love to add a little instant coffee to chili – it adds a nice depth of flavor when things get a little too tangy and tomato-y. Also, of course, tiramisu…so delicious!

  74. the more coffee the better (in life and in baked goods!)

  75. matea says:

    i add coffee to chocolate cupcakes and brownies 🙂

  76. Brie says:

    I like to use coffee in chocolate cheesecake and marscarpone frosting.

  77. Kelly says:

    I love adding coffee to brownies. It really enhances the chocolate flavor. I do like coffee, but i’ll admit I’m the girl who waters it down a bit with milk and sweetens it with sugar.

  78. Ashley G. says:

    I’m really into Ina Garten’s concept of adding instant coffee to anything involving chocolate (like ganache or frostings) to add depth of flavor…going to have to try it more!

  79. Ashley G. says:

    FB fan now too 🙂

  80. Kristin says:

    Starbucks – yum. I have a recipe, that I like to use during the holidays, for a mocha fudge pie from Cooking Light that uses instant coffee (and a dash of Kahlua). Great flavor and only a little dessert guilt.

  81. anna says:

    coffee brownies!!

  82. Ellen Renee says:

    I have only tried one recipe with coffee in it – a smitten kitchen chocolate cake recipe and my family HATED it. They could taste the coffee – I am the only coffee drinker in the house. So I don’t use it to cook with but I sure do drink a lot of it!

  83. bex says:

    never added coffee to anything…but might try to make this toffee!!

  84. bex says:

    already a facebook fan!

  85. bex says:

    already follow you guys on twitter!

  86. JJ says:

    I add a tablespoon of freeze-dried coffee to my vanilla protein powder drink and throw in a frozen banana and a couple of ice cubes……blend for 30 seconds and drink. It’s delicious!!

    If I’m feeling particularly caffeine deprived, I’ll add my coffee to a can of Coke or Pepsi — double jolt of goodness!!!

    I follow on twitter and FB — can’t wait to try the toffee recipe 🙂

  87. Dee says:

    I like adding coffee to homemade ice cream for coffee flavoring! 🙂

  88. Dee says:

    I like you on fb as Dee G 🙂

  89. Ruth says:

    The frosting recipe for my banana cake is very simple: icing sugar, a bit of butter and some strong, black coffee mixed to a nice spreading consistency – top with shaved chocolate or chocolate sprinkles. I’d love to win your give-away. I enjoy reading your blog.

  90. Kerstin says:

    Oh.. I’m drooling! And I really like the pretzel addition. I added coffee to BBQ sauce and really liked it.

  91. Nikki says:

    What don’t I love adding coffee to! I must admit I just recently became a huge coffee drinker the past few years, but nothing beats coffee and chocolate. Preferably a cake. Also tried making coffee ice cream this past summer which was delicious! =) I follow you lovely ladies on twitter and an avid reader of your blog! @xonikkiannette

  92. Mari says:

    I don’t often use coffee for baking, but I do love making my own version of a pumpkin spice blend using spiced honey and creamer.

  93. Mari says:

    I’m a FB fan (Mari Doug)

  94. Staci A says:

    I love adding it to desserts, especially cakes.

  95. Staci A says:

    I like your site on FB.

  96. Staci A says:

    And I follow @MommaStaciA. Thanks!

  97. Rachel L-E says:

    I like adding coffee – or, rather, instant espresso powder – to chocolate cookies. Gives them an awesome kick!

  98. Cindy B. says:

    I like adding coffee when baking to a lot of my recipes that have chocolate in it. The coffee really brings out the chocolate taste; in brownies, cookies, Icings and cakes

  99. Cindy B. says:

    I follow We are not Martha on Twitter.

  100. Cindy B. says:

    I fan you on Facebook.

  101. Cindy B. says:

    I tweeted this giveaway.!/Cinbat03

  102. Cindy A. says:

    I like adding coffee and chunks of milk chocolate to fudge brownie mix. It is so good! Thank you for offering such a fun and yummy giveaway. 🙂


  103. Cindy A. says:

    I follow you on Twitter via @normawatson


  104. Cindy A. says:

    I “like” you on Facebook – Cindy A.


  105. I follow you on twitter- @ericathomas

  106. I retweeted your tweet! @ericathomas

  107. shala_darkstone says:

    I’ve added coffee to bread when baking.

  108. shala_darkstone says:

    I follow We are not Martha on Twitter (@shala_darkstone).

  109. shala_darkstone says:

    I “like” your Facebook page (FB name: Maddie Brubaker).

  110. Sarah says:

    When baking, I like adding coffee to me – seriously, major addict! Martha has a great Irish Coffee Cupcake recipe with whiskey whipped cream as a topping – that was a great coffee baking combo.

  111. Cheryl Casperson says:

    I liked adding it to anything with chocolate.. Really enhances the flavor

  112. Cheryl Casperson says:

    Follow you on twitter!

  113. Kimmie says:

    I add coffee to my beef marinades!

  114. Kimmie says:

    I follow y’all on Twitter =)

  115. Kimmie says:

    I liked y’all on Facebook =)

  116. Kimmie says:

    I tweeted too!

  117. A.Judy says:

    Coffee and chocolate…………two of my favorites!

  118. Lesa says:

    I add coffee to muffin recipes and batches of fudge to add an extra special twist!

  119. Elisabeth says:

    I am a big coffee drinker but I haven’t actually ever added it to anything I’ve cooked!… thanks for the ideas! 🙂

  120. Elisabeth says:

    I Follow We are not Martha on Twitter!

  121. Elisabeth says:

    I like you on FB!

  122. Laura says:

    I add coffee to chocolate cake recipes!

  123. Laura says:

    Liked you on facebook!

  124. Courtney says:

    I’m a fb fan of you lovely ladies 🙂

  125. Courtney says:

    and lastly I follow you on Twitter! Going to make this recipe apart of my Christmas offerings 🙂

  126. Karen Ashley says:

    Looks awesome Sues. I have a recipe for coffee maple beer chicken. Must credit Jennfer Hamilton at for this recipe. I have subscribe to your blog for some time. Love to follow your foodie adventures as well as significant events in both of your personal lives. Thanks for sharing.

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