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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sweet Treats Saturday: Toffee Bars

Wow. It's hard to believe that the last time I posted a Sweet Treats post was in 2012. I really didn't do much baking in the last 6 months. Between pregnancy aches and pains, and then trying to jump-start the post-pregnancy weight loss, it just wasn't on my radar. Oh and moving across country. That can put a hitch in the baking plans.

Being in a new home, making new friends... well, I think that definitely calls for me to start baking again.  After all, what better way to make people like you than to fatten them up with sweets? Ok, maybe not quite, but I do like bringing a dessert to most events.  This dessert made it to one of them.

So one of the mom's groups that I signed up for organized a wine and painting party.  I don't know if you have these in your area... I had never heard of it in California. But I thought it was pretty genius.  They walk you, step-by-step, through a simple acrylic painting.  You supply wine and snacks for your group.  You leave with a painting that may have been created while your vision was a bit fuzzy... and hope you still like it the next day. Well, if anything, you have a lot of laughs, and something to hang in a bathroom.

I brought these toffee bars as a little celebration dessert.  I'm surprisingly happy with how my painting turned out. It helped that I admired it at the end of the night while munching on one of these little bits of heaven.

They're very rich, but so good. If you love toffee, you've gotta try this.

Oh, and there are a few steps, but they're pretty fast and easy. So don't let that deter you.

Chocolate Toffee Bars
Recipe slightly modified from Cookies and Cups
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For the crust:
1/2 c melted butter (1 stick)
2 c shortbread cookie crumbs
3/4 c toffee bits

For the top layer:
1 c melted butter (2 sticks)
1/2 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 c toffee bits
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the middle layer:
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c peanut butter chips
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13" baking dish with non-stick spray.
2. Prepare crust by melting the 1/2 cup of butter in a medium bowl.  Add the cookie crumbs (you can finely chop up your cookies or use a food processor) and toffee bits.  Stir until combined and press into the bottom of the baking dish. It will not cover every inch, but try to get an even cover over the base as it will spread when cooked.
3. Bake for 10 minutes until lightly golden. Set aside to cool.
4. In a separate bowl of a stand mixer (or a bowl to use a hand mixer) begin making the top layer, cream butter and sugars together until smooth.  On medium speed, add eggs and vanilla.  Slowly add in dry ingredients until just combined.  Then add the toffee and chocolate chips.  Set aside.
5. In a medium saucepan, make the middle layer.  Melt the peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, butter, and condensed milk over low heat until completely melted and smooth.  This should not take long.  Remove from heat and pour over the cooled crust.  Spread it evenly to coat the whole crust.
6. Drop top layer by spoonfuls all over the middle layer.  It will spread out while baking, but try to cover most of the toffee layer.
7. Bake for approx 25 minutes, until the topping is set and lightly golden.
8. Let cool for a couple of hours before cutting.

1 comment:

  1. The toffee bars sound devine...and so does the painting class. I always think we value possessions too much and experiences not enough. And while I like the painting you made, and it is far better than anything I can do, I bet its real value lies in the great time you had!


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