Sunday, January 24, 2010

toffee bars

I love English toffee: it's so buttery and brown sugary and chocolaty! When I saw these bars, I knew I had to try them. Not only are they relatively fast and very easy, they contain ingredients I almost always have on hand. If I have one complaint, it's that they were just a little more crisp than I would have liked. I expected them to be a bit chewier and just a bit thicker than they were. However, the snap of the cookie base was nice against the chocolate. And this is another recipe that proves to me that nuts and chocolate can happily coexist, at least in limited circumstances!



These are nice on their own, but they're also a great addition to a holiday gift box or a plate of mixed cookies.

Toffee Bars
(from Hershey's)

Bars
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) flour
1 cup (7 ounces) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup pecan halves

Topping
2/3 cup (just a bit more than 1 1/4 sticks) butter
1/3 cup (2 3/8 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. If you choose, you can line a 9x13" pan with foil and spray it with Pam, but it's not necessary.

Combine flour and 1 cup brown sugar in a large bowl. Cut in 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter with a fork or pastry blender until fine crumbs form. A few large crumbs may remain. Press crumbs into the bottom of the pan (either the foiled/sprayed pan, or otherwise an ungreased 9x13 pan). Sprinkle pecans over crust. Since the toffee requires babysitting, get all of this ready before you make the toffee topping.

For toffee: combine 2/3 cup butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil. Continue boiling, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. The whole thing only takes a few minutes, and you don't have to look for a certain temperature or color; just watch the clock. Immediately drizzle toffee over crust and pecans.

Bake 20-22 minutes or until topping is golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle immediately with chocolate chips. The instructions say to press them gently into the crust, but I find they stick to the spatula. If you'd like you can gently swirl the chocolate after it's been sitting for a minute or two. You can see in the pictures above that I did a combination - I swirled some of the chocolate, but left some of the chips whole. I'm sure you could also let the chips melt and smooth the chocolate with an offset spatula to make a thin chocolate layer that evenly covers the crust. However, I liked the look of the blobs of chocolate visible against the pecans. Cool completely and cut in squares or triangles.

These freeze well, which is a good way to avoid eating an entire tray in one sitting!

6 comments:

Sandra Dee said...

Oooooooo. I'll have to keep this in mind for next year's holiday cookie gifts.

Kathleen said...

These sound delicious! I would be that person that just might eat the entire tray in one sitting!

Amanda said...

Gorgeous! And wow coudl I eat a ton of those!!

Blessings-
Amanda

Jamie said...

Thanks for linking to me! We loved these!

Anonymous said...

Tried these today after a link from Tastespotting.com. SO easy, and OMG delicious! I subbed 1/2 and 1/2 wheat flour as that's what i had on hand, and almonds, and dark brown sugar for light.

I think i may be addicted already!

jami said...

@Anonymous - those sound like great substitutions. I'm glad you liked them! Thanks for letting me know!