Friday, April 8, 2011

Toffee Bars

If it weren’t for Facebook, most of the people who read my blog wouldn’t even know it exists. It would be living a sad little life with no followers, no readers, and no love. But, because of Facebook, my website has a life! It has readers! It gets love from all of you! Since Facebook plays such an important role in this website, I decided to share a little something my mom wrote on there, advertising my blog:

Need some happy time? A place where butter and sugar are not a sin and you will not only learn something, perhaps your rest-of-life favorite dessert, but you will enjoy the experience even if you never crack an egg. Miss Buttercup is not only an incredibly wonderful baker; she is also quite witty, with an easy reading style.

I know it’s from my mom and she is not exactly biased, but it’s still nice to hear all these nice things! And, in order to fully appreciate the recipe that comes with this post, you need to remember that butter and sugar are not a sin. Okay?? Okay. Glad we cleared that one up! ;)

Anyway, onto the recipe! Since I had nothing to do today, I decided to take the time to peruse my cookbooks and find something brand new to make. I had bookmarked this recipe ages ago in “The Cookie and Biscuit Bible” by Catherine Atkinson and now seemed like a great time to venture out and try something new.  Now, when I first tried it today, I was skeptical. They weren’t what I was expecting. They were too similar to my Marbled Caramel Chocolate Squares, also from this book (also the same cookbook that brought you the Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies). I was expecting toffee…that sticky, hard, sweet, delicious candy. Now, I know the toffee part of this bar is the cookie base, but still, I was disappointed. I was frustrated with the bars and was having writer’s block because of my frustration. I couldn’t figure out a witty angle for this post! Then I looked at the time and realized I needed to leave if I wanted to be on time for my friends’ show at USD! The blog could wait! (Oh, please check out my friends, Times New Roman. Videos from tonight’s show will be coming just as soon as I get them off my camera! In the meantime, check out the videos from December that I took!)

As I left my apartment, I was texting a friend about my writer’s block and thought that maybe I was being too hard on myself. Maybe these are delicious and I just had different expectations. So I brought the toffee bars with me to USD for the show and gave them to a very willing audience: college students. Everyone loved them, so I clearly had no reason to worry (definitely my own biggest critic). Later on in the evening, while hanging out with my friends, they started to ask what was in them. More specifically, just how much butter was in them? My friend Will started to guess: 2 sticks? 3 sticks? Nope. 4 sticks of butter. A whole pound. I know, I know…but remember my disclaimer?! Butter and sugar are not a sin‼! :)

These bars have more of a sweet, shortbread taste to them. The dough was delicious, so I was excited about what the end product would be like. But after baking, they turned out far drier than I anticipated. Now, everyone has enjoyed them so far, but I think that I should have used the whole bag of chocolate chips so that there was a thicker layer of chocolate to even out what I perceive to be as a dry cookie base. And really, what am I doing to do with 3.5 ounces of milk chocolate chips? Okay, I can think of a few things, but that’s beside the point. As for the nut topping, I did half with the nuts and half without, in case people don’t like nuts. Also, I used a combination of walnuts and pecans, which brought a nice added flavor to the bars.

So, I hope you enjoy them and remember that butter and sugar are not a sin!

Toffee Bars
2 cups butter
1½ cups light brown sugar
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 bag (11.5 ounces) milk chocolate chips
½-1 cup walnuts or pecans or a mixture of both, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13x9” pan.

Beat together butter and light brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla. Stir in the flour and salt.
Butter and sugar are not a sin!!

Gorgeous, delicious dough!

Spread the dough into the prepared pan. Use a spatula or frosting knife to make it smooth.
My little frosting knife works magic!

Bake for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned. The texture will be soft. Remove from the oven and immediately place the chocolate chips on the hot cookie base.
You'll be able to tell when the chips are melted by their light, creamy color.

Let the chocolate chips melt and then spread evenly over the top with a spatula or frosting knife. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts. While still warm, cut into bars. Leave to cool.
I went half and half with the nuts: half walnuts, half pecans on half the bars. :)
These bars are something Paula Dean would LOVE. :)


<3 Buttercup


  1. Even though I now see the entire process of how you make these, I still feel like they mainly happen by magic.

  2. These totally remind me of the toffee bars my mom makes at you know which ones I am talking about?

  3. Margaret! I was totally thinking about this yesterday! I was eating one and realized that I'd had it before...and then I figured it must have been something from your Mom's delicious Christmas cookies! So glad you thought this too!

  4. Sin free butter, pounds and pounds of it? Yes, I could get on board with that. These sound yummy. And Miss Buttercup, whether it's Facebook or completely by circumstance, whoever reads your blog is privileged to get such a sweet moment added to their day. Thank you for sharing.


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