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McCowan’s Tasty Toffee Recipe

Learn how to make toffee that tastes just like McCowan’s famous Highland Cow toffee, originally produced in Stenhousemuir - delicious!

“We really have no more secrets in our various mixes than Mr. McCowan had in his day – after all there’s a limit to what you can do with toffee,”

 – Mr. Taster, Scots Magazine 1977

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It is said that no matter how big the company grew, no matter how many new sweeties were added, that the McCowan’s Highland Toffee bar remained the same. This simple recipe is just as authentic and traditional as the original penny dainty that inspired Andrew McCowan so long ago (Thompson, 1977).  


The process is simple, once the ingredients have been mixed you lay the warm toffee onto the table. Here, this gooey goodness is rolled out and the squares are marked out. Then, the candy is broken up into pieces before packaging.



1 oz butter

½ lb treacle

½ lb moist sugar

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Melt the butter in a saucepan Pour in the treacle and sugar Stir while boiling After it has boiled for ten minutes, drop a little from a spoon, and if it is hard it is ready Pour into a well-buttered tin and leave to cool.


By Meghan Kjartanson, Great Place volunteer.

Read next:

Nearby: Larbert, Stenhousemuir and Torwood

The History of Sugar

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Nearby: Larbert, Stenhousemuir and Torwood

McCowan’s Memories: Patricia Simpson

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  • References & Bibliography
  • “Toffee Recipe.” Falkirk Herald. Wednesday, July 08, 1924.

  • Ron Thompson. “McCowan’s.” The Scots Magazine (1977), p. 353. ©DC Thomson & Co Ltd. 

  • With additional fact-checking by Rowan Berry.
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