Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Elusive Toffee Bar

When my husband was a teen, his Mom used to make a toffee bar that he loved. His description of it indicates that it had a sweet, shortbread-type base, a layer of melted chocolate chips, and chopped pecans on top. Yeas ago I asked his Mom for the recipe, and sadly, she could not remember it. Since then I have tried various recipes in hopes that I would find the "right" one.

This recipe from the Joy of Baking website is the latest, but not the last, recipe I have tried. It made a beautiful bar and tasted great - toffee-ish, crunchy base with a yummy layer of chocolate and nuts - but after much discussion, nibbling, and compliments, hubby decided it was still not the elusive recipe.

Toffee Bars
Adapted from Joy of Baking

1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup roasted pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom of 8 inch baking pan with parchment.

Melt butter in medium sized saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla extract. Add salt and flour and mix just until incorporated. Spread shortbread evenly on bottom of prepared pan and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until shortbread is golden brown with well browned edges.

Remove from oven and immediately scatter chocolate chips over hot shortbread. Return to oven for a minute or two or just until chocolate softens. Remove from oven and, with offset spatula or back of spoon, evenly spread chocolate. Sprinkle chopped pecans over chocolate, then press them lightly into chocolate. Cool on wire rack.

Makes about 16 squares.

In spite of the use of elastic waisted pants that my experiments demand, I have my sights on yet another recipe, this time from the Salad in a Jar blog. It looks like "the one". Photobucket


  1. Mmmm... sounds divine. I have a question - I was looking at your post for shredded wheat bread (June 2009). I'd love to try the recipe, but the storm spotter feature in your side bar is covering some of the directions. I can't see the baking temp. Help!

    PS - I posted a recipe on my blog a while ago using the mini shred wheat crumbs in a crispy chocolate chip cookie. You might be interested.

  2. ButterYum, I put the spotter widget on the other side--bad widget! :) The baking temp is 400 degrees.

    How weird that you mentioned shredded wheat, because I was just thinking about this recipe this morning, as I need to use up the end of the box. That chocolate chip cookie recipe looks fantastic!

  3. Hi Linda,

    Your toffee bar looks scrumptious actually.

    One thing, for sure, my bars that you talk about are not as thick and certainly less calories since the base has half as much butter to the same amount of flour. We love them but who knows if it is what your husband remembers.

  4. Paula--thanks for the tip--yours still sound yummy even with less calories. ;) We actually tried again to get the recipe from hubby's Mom and had his sister looking in cabinets and cookbooks for that missing recipe. :(


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